Algeria will hold a national dialogue conference once a new government is drawn up, Prime Minister-designate Noureddine Badawi said Thursday.
Badawi made the remarks at a joint press conference held with his deputy, Ramtan Lamamra, one day before planned demonstrations against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to postpone presidential polls.
On Monday, following weeks of popular protests, Bouteflika announced that the polls -- originally slated for April -- would be postponed to a later date, yet to be decided.
The 82-year-old president also announced his decision to withdraw his candidacy from the upcoming election, saying the move had “come in response to the will of the people”.
Bouteflika also vowed to form a new government and convene a conference devoted to “national dialogue”.
“We will begin preparations for the dialogue conference as soon as the new government is sworn in,” he asserted.
“We are now holding intensive consultations with a view to appointing qualified cabinet ministers,” he added.
Bouteflika went on to urge “all stakeholders and political parties to take part in the dialogue to ensure that we pass through the transitional phase smoothly”.
Last month, Algeria’s ruling National Liberation Front nominated Bouteflika, who has ruled Algeria since 1999, to run for a fifth presidential term.
The announcement sparked weeks of anti-regime demonstrations in several parts of the country, including capital Algiers.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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