Algerian President Vows to Amend Constitution
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika vowed Wednesday to “drastically adjust the country's Constitution,” which he has criticized more than once, reported the official Kuwait news agency, KUNA.
His remarks came during a meeting with defense ministry officials.
He called on all political factions of his country to “foil all internal and external intrigues" and to support his national reconciliation policy to solve the decade-old crisis.
KUNA said that Bouteflika praised role of the army, noting that all problems could be solved “except those that do not go along the Constitution.”
Separately, around 650 Algerian Berbers gathered in front of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg Wednesday to call for EU help in their push for more rights in their region in Algeria, police said.
The demonstrators took over a grassy area next to the building in a peaceful display, playing traditional music, said a police official, cited by AFP.
Many had arrived in a fleet of 150 taxis from Paris, where a significant Algerian population lives.
They included Malika Matoub, sister of the popular Berber singer Lounes Matoub, who was killed in June 1998 in a murder that remains unsolved, but which was widely seen as political.
Rioting and protests in Algeria spearheaded by the Berbers have created a major challenge to the government's authority there.
The Berbers, an ethnic group representing around a quarter of Algeria's population of 31 million, are demanding that more attention to their problems in finding employment and housing, and an end to political and cultural discrimination.
Several European parliamentarians ventured out to speak to the demonstrators and offer sympathy for their struggle, said AFP -- Albawaba.com
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