Algerian Minister Dismissed for Refusing to Renounce French Citizenship

Published June 28th, 2020 - 11:43 GMT
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. (AFP/ File Photo)
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. (AFP/ File Photo)

A heated debate erupted in Algeria over the appointment of an official, who holds dual citizenship, as the new minister of the diaspora in the recently reshuffled government.

According to the constitution and the law identifying the criteria for assuming senior responsibilities, any Algerian national holding a second nationality cannot assume high public responsibilities.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune revoked Samir Chaabna’s appointment on Saturday after he refused to renounce his French nationality.

“The presidency of the republic has canceled the appointment Chaabna as delegate minister in charge of the Algerian community abroad, and he therefore, is no longer in the current government formation,” the premiership announced in a statement.

Political sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the lawmaker contacted the presidency on Friday and requested that his appointment be scrapped.

Sources explained that his decision came in light of the presidency’s request to renounce his French citizenship to avoid any punitive measures.

A source from the Front El Moustakbel (Future Front) party, which nominated Chaabna in the 2017 parliamentary elections, said the minister “has stated in his correspondence that Algerian authorities knew he had been in France for 30 years.”

He quoted Chaabna as saying that the Interior Ministry knew he holds the French citizenship when he ran for the legislative elections.

The constitutional amendment bill, which has been under discussion for nearly two months now, proposes cancelling the law that bars figures holding dual citizenships from assuming senior positions in public institutions.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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