Algeria Protests May Become a 'Time Bomb' - Expert

Published June 19th, 2019 - 09:09 GMT
An Algerian woman raises a placard as she takes part in a weekly demonstration in the capital Algiers on June 14, 2019. (AFP/ File Photo)
An Algerian woman raises a placard as she takes part in a weekly demonstration in the capital Algiers on June 14, 2019. (AFP/ File Photo)
Protests in Algeria is set to turn into time bomb before the end of the transition period.

The launch of a transition period in Algeria will turn the protest-hit North Africa country into a "time bomb", an Algerian legal expert has warned.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Amer Rekheila said keeping interim President Abdelkader Bensalah in his post will be the best way forward until a new presidential election is held.

"The constitutional path, despite the popular opposition, is full of guarantees and mechanisms that ensure presidential legitimacy in Algeria," Rekheila, a former member of the constitutional council, said.

Former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 82, stepped down early in April following several weeks of popular demonstrations against his 20-year rule.

Bensalah, a former speaker of the parliament, is currently serving as interim president for a 90-day transitional period overseen by the army.

Rekheila asserted that constitutional legitimacy would guarantee the election of a legitimate president in the country. 

He believes that the constitutional path alongside with building constructive dialogue on mechanisms for the integrity of presidential election would lead to fulfilling the people's aspirations.

"Developments in the country in recent weeks have allowed Bensalah to remain president until presidential election is organized," he said.

On June 2, Algeria’s constitutional council extended the term of Bensalah until a presidential election is held.

The council announced that it was impossible to hold election called by Bensalah on July 4 and was highly rejected by the country's opposition and popular forces. 

Time bomb

Demonstrators, however, have remained on the streets to demand the departure of all officials associated with the Bouteflika regime, including Bensalah.

"I was one of the first to demand Bensalah to resign, but today I say he shall stay in his post and stick to the constitutional path," Rekheila said.

"We have to hold talks about the constitutional and legal mechanisms," the expert said, going on to call on the Algerians "to maintain their resolve to prevent forgers from achieving their goal".

The political expert said that the proposed transition period "would contradict with the constitutional path to settle the crisis".

Calling for avoiding the launch of a transition period, Rekheila said such a stage "will bring risks to Algeria more than ever borne by Libya, Egypt or any other country."

He opined that any transition period would lead to "opening time bombs-like issues."

The legal expert also warned against the idea of electing a Constituent Assembly as it would "fuel the issues of identity, language, religion and culture and their place in the new constitution."

"The risks of the transitional period lie in the return of those with narrow interests to the forefront" including former regime's officials, Rekheila warned.

"The beginning of a transitional period will be known, but its end will be unknown," he said.

He concluded that the street is currently absorbing the ideas of different personalities and political currents, "and therefore [the street] cannot be considered a political party or a systematic structure to raise homogeneous demands."

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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