Algeria president to 'dissolve parliament': local media

Algeria president to 'dissolve parliament': local media
Abdelmajdid Tebboune is expected to call for early elections.
2 min read
15 February, 2021
Tebboune may call for an early election [Getty]
Algerian President Abdelmajdid Tebboune is planning to dissolve parliament and call for an early legislative election, local newspaper Echorouk newspaper reported, citing an ex-presidential candidate and opposition party Front des Forces Socialistes (FFP).

Tebboune is "preparing to issue a decision to dissolve parliament in the coming days," said Abdelaziz Belaid, head of the FFP, according to the paper.

Doing so would mark the start of elections in the country, which has been swept with nation-wide protests and the Hirak movement.

It is likely that Tebboune will make the announcement before National Martyr Day on February 18, Belaid implied based on a meeting with Tebboune.

Ongoing instability

Algeria's political stage remains unstable, as the government continues its crackdown on dissenting voices.

Youcef Aouchiche, the secretary of FFS, has warned of "an imminent social explosion" due to the government's inability to meet the demands of its people. 

Speaking of the Abdelmadjid Tebbouneled-led government, Aouchiche condemned the government's "false solutions" to the crisis.

"We are convinced that there is no solution to the intertwined political crisis that our country is experiencing outside of a direct, global and democratic dialogue," Aouichiche said, according to Algerian reports.

The country’s burgeoning democratic movement has been met with growing opposition by authorities, with several of its Hirak leaders arbitrarily arrested. Many remain in prison.

Artist Walid Kechida was one of many arrested and recently sentenced to three years in jail for satirical social media posts mocking the government and religion.

His sentencing sparked condemnation from rights groups critical of the government and its clampdown on free speech.

The CNLD says over 90 people, including activists, social media users and journalists, are currently in custody in connection with the country's anti-government protest movement or individual liberties - mostly for dissenting social media posts.

The movement first launched vast street demonstrations in early 2019 to oppose then-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika's bid for a fifth term in office.

Bouteflika resigned in April that year, but protesters kept up the pressure, demanding a full overhaul of the ruling system in place since the North African nation's 1962 independence from France.

However, social distancing necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic meant that protesters had to halt their street rallies early last year.

A November referendum to approve the constitutional changes received the backing of less than 15 percent of the electorate, in a vote overshadowed by the pandemic and Hirak calls for a boycott.

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