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Less than a quarter of the voters turned out for the referendum on the new Algerian constitution



           


The Algerian president knows a first victory after the adoption of his referendum (photo: DR)
The Algerian president knows a first victory after the adoption of his referendum (photo: DR)
ALGERIA. The referendum held on the constitutional revision in Algeria was approved by 66.80% of the votes, said Monday, November 2, 2020, the National Independent Electoral Authority (Anie). This ballot of Sunday, November 1, 2020 did not, however, move the crowds when it was the only real issue at stake. The Anie established the final turnout at 23.7%. 5.63 million voters voted for 24.47 million registrants. Only 45,071 Algerians living abroad took part in the vote out of 907,298 registered.
The final results will be given within ten days.

Less than a quarter of the voters therefore came to the polls on Sunday, November 1, 2020, the anniversary of the start of the war of independence against France (1954/1962), to vote on the constitutional revision intended to create a "new Republic". That is even less than during the last presidential election which had a turnout of only 39.88% to elect Abdelmadjib Tebboune. The seventy-four year old president has been hospitalized in Germany since October 27, 2020. In February 2020, he had promised a new constitution before the summer of 2020.

Hirak supporters had called for a boycott of this referendum regretting that this text maintains a "hyper-presidentialist" regime worthy of "the constitutional folklores of the banana republics" and "the confusion of powers". Demonstrating against the government since February 2019 and demanding the departure of all politicians involved in the regime of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, they had led to his resignation in April 2019. Opponents of Abdelmadjib Tebboune, who advocated a "no" vote, were not allowed to hold electoral meetings, on the pretext of measures to protect public health in these times of Covid-19. The Islamists had also campaigned on the "no".

 

What does the adopted referendum provide for?

- The President appoints the Prime Minister, the ministers, one third of the Council of the Nation (Senate), the walis (prefects), the magistrates...

- The president remains head of the Superior Council of the Magistracy, but the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General will no longer be part of it.

- Appointment of a prime minister if the presidential party holds a parliamentary majority OR a head of government if another party holds a majority.

- The chief executive is accountable to the National People's Congress (motion of censure).

- The Constitutional Council is replaced by a Constitutional Court.

- The presidential term (5 years) is limited to two, consecutive or not

- The term of office of members of Parliament is limited to two

- Parliamentary immunity is applied only during the exercise of the functions of a deputy.

- The army may be authorized to carry out peacekeeping missions outside Algeria's borders.

- Tamazight (Berber) becomes an official and national language
 


Eric Apim


Monday, November 2nd 2020



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