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Algeria: Proposal Calls for Keeping Bensalah as President, Removing Bedoui

Algeria: Proposal Calls for Keeping Bensalah as President, Removing Bedoui

Tuesday, 25 June, 2019 - 07:30
Demonstrators chant slogans during a protest demanding the removal of the ruling elite in Algiers, Algeria June 7, 2019. (Reuters)
Algiers - Boualem Goumrassa
Activists put forward on Monday a proposal to help resolve Algeria’s pending political crisis. It calls for keeping Abdelkader Bensalah as interim president and the removal of Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui.

The initiative was drafted by several well-known political, religious and economic figures.

Former adviser to the Ministry of Religious Affairs Ada Falahi said it was launched after consultations and extensive dialogue with various parties from different political, cultural and religious affiliations.

He stated that it is based on several points, including backing the popular movement and civil society and everyone who took part in combating corruption even before the eruption of popular protests on February 22.

The proposal also stresses how critical the stage is on the security and economic levels and urges the need to overcome the crisis as soon as possible through a mediation committee composed of the movement, the civil community and ruling authority.

The crisis in Algeria erupted when President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced that he was seeking a fifth term in office, prompting mass protests. The popular movement culminated in his resignation on April 2, but the protests have persisted, demanding the overhaul of the entire political class, including the removal of Bensalah and Bedoui.

Meanwhile, around 200 demonstrators gathered in front of the Sidi Mohamed Court in Algiers to demand the release of 18 people who were arrested on Friday and Saturday for raising Amazigh flags during protests.

The judiciary has accused the activists of “undermining national unity”.

Lawyer and rights activist Abdel-Ghani Badi said that the charges may result in a 10-year prison sentence.

A doctor was put in custody at Bordj Bou Arreridj court – 250 km east of the capital – on Monday because of a picture he posted on Facebook showing an Amazigh flag on the wall of his office at a local hospital.

The opposition Socialist Forces Front (FFS), which enjoys wide support in Amazigh tribe regions, denounced the arrests, saying the activists were being held on baseless charges.

Carrying the Amazigh flag is an expression of belonging to a certain identity and an integration in the Amazigh culture in North Africa. It cannot be considered an attempt to undermine national unity and the national flag, it said in a statement.

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