Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Algeria's Bouteflika offers reforms

16 May 2014, 06:56

Algiers - Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, newly re-elected despite suffering a stroke last year, has proposed a raft of reforms including setting a two-term presidential limit and delegating more authority to the prime minister, a government source said on Thursday.

Bouteflika, 77, won last month's election to secure his fourth five-year term, despite his opponents' arguments that his fragile health undermined his ability to govern.

His frailty has raised questions about who might succeed him in Algeria, a major gas supplier to Europe and a key ally in Washington's fight against Islamist militancy in the Maghreb region of North Africa.

Analysts said the proposed reforms may be aimed at easing worries over a potential transition should Bouteflika become unable to finish his new term. A previous two-term limit was removed to allow him to run for a third term five years ago, when he won a landslide victory.

The government source said the 47 proposed amendments included lifting controls on the media and giving parliament more ability to question government officials.

The source said the draft was handed to political parties, which have been invited to debate the reforms in June before they go to a constitutional committee for review and then probably to a referendum for final approval.

"Invitations have been sent to partners in the process of the constitutional revision," APS state news agency said.

APS said details of the proposals from a panel of experts would be released on Friday, but the source said the government had dropped a previous idea of creating a vice president's position to help Bouteflika administer his fourth term.

His ally Abdelmalek Sellal was reappointed prime minister after the election, having briefly stepped down to campaign on behalf of the president.

Split opposition

Politics in the OPEC state have been mostly dominated since the end of French colonial rule in 1962 by the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) and the army.

Most of its opposition leaders - including secular and Islamist rivals - have already rejected Bouteflika's proposal they join the debate, dismissing the invitation as a move to co-opt them rather than an attempt at real reform.

"Two years ago, the regime called us to make proposals for a new constitution. They did not take into consideration any of our suggestions," Abderazak Mokri, leader of the moderate Islamist party MSP, said this week. "This new invitation is just another way to fool the opposition."

But the opposition parties, which mostly boycotted the April election, are split over how to challenge a political system they say is controlled by the FLN, its political allies and business elites who support the status quo.

Bouteflika enjoys support among those Algerians who believe a fourth term is a guarantee of stability in a country still traumatised by a decade-long 1990s war with armed Islamists that killed more than 200 000 people.

That experience has left a deep mark on Algerian society, where many are wary of upheaval and see the turmoil after the 2011 Arab Spring revolutions in their North African neighbours as a risk for their country's own stability.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...