Algeria | News & Updates | World Defense

Algeria | News & Updates

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Massive protest against Algeria elite
by Reuters -
29th Apr 2019

Hundreds of thousands of protesters demanding departure of Algeria’s ruling elite rallied peacefully in Algiers for a tenth consecutive Friday.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepped down after 20 years in power earlier this month, bowing to pressure from the army and weeks of demonstrations mainly by young people seeking change.

“The system must go” and “We are fed up with you,” read banners held up by protesters in central Algiers, scene of mass protests since February 22.
There was no official count but Reuters reporters estimated the number of participants after Friday prayers to be in the hundreds of thousands, roughly on the same scale as last week.

“The people want to uproot you,”the crowd chanted, addressing the establishment which has ruled the oil- and gas-producing nation since independence from France in 1962.

There were also protests in other major cities.

The demonstrations, largely peaceful, carried on as many Algerians continue to demand removal of the elite and prosecution of those they see as corrupt.

Bouteflika has been replaced by Abdelkader Bensalah, head of the upper house of parliament, as interim president for 90 days until a presidential election on July 4. He faces demands from the street to quit.

Algeria’s wealthiest businessman and four other tycoons close to Bouteflika were arrested last week as part of an anti-graft investigation, state media said.
The arrests came after army chief Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaed Salah said he expected members of the ruling elite to be prosecuted for corruption.
Salah intervened when Bouteflika sought to extend his fourth term, declaring him unfit for office, in a bid to avoid prolonged turmoil.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/security/civil-security/massive-protest-against-algeria-elite/
 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Algeria’s ruling party names relatively young new leader amid protests

Algerian students watch a banner being fixed on a building's facade on April 30, 2019 as they continue their weekly protests in the capital Algiers. (AFP)
Updated 12 sec ago
Reuters
April 30, 2019
  • Businessman Mohamed Djemai, 50, , is a relatively youthful figure atop the FLN, most of whose senior officials are in their 70s
ALGIERS: Algeria’s ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party has elected businessman Mohamed Djemai as its new leader, state television said on Tuesday, a month after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika quit in the face of mass protests.

Bouteflika’s exit has not quieted protesters, who are now demanding the dismantling of an entire ruling elite entrenched for decades, a shift toward more democracy and a crackdown on systemic corruption and cronyism.

The 50-year-old Djemai, whose business interests have included smartphones, is a relatively youthful figure atop the FLN, most of whose senior officials are in their 70s and have dominated Algeria since independence from France in 1962.

Djemai replaces Moad Bouchareb. The FLN, which has ruled since independence in 1962, will lead Algeria to a position of security, Djemai was cited as saying by the private Ennahar TV. Until presidential elections on July 4, Algeria — a major oil and gas producer — will be run by Abdelkader Bensalah, head of the upper house of parliament, as caretaker president, although he has also faced demands to resign.

Many Algerians hardly took notice of the FLN leadership change as they pressed for bigger changes.

The army remains the most powerful institution in Algeria, having swayed politics from the shadows for decades. It has so far patiently monitored the mostly peaceful protests that at times have swelled to hundreds of thousands of people.

Earlier on Tuesday, the army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Gaed Salah — who helped push out Bouteflika after having him declared unfit for office — said several big corruption cases would come to light in a crackdown on graft, Ennahar TV reported.

A number of figures from the ruling elite including the finance minister, former prime minister and several oligarchs have come under investigation in recent weeks.

“The judiciary has been freed from all pressures,” Salah said in a speech at a base in the eastern city of Constantine. “The country will be cleansed of corruption and corrupt people.”

Salah spoke hours after former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, who was sacked as part of a Cabinet reshuffle two days before Bouteflika resigned, appeared in court as part of a corruption investigation.

There was no immediate comment from Ouyahia or his lawyers. It is up to the court to decide whether there is enough evidence for him to face a formal charge. Ouyahia later left the court after being questioned by a prosecutor, state TV said.

“Put Ouyahia in prison,” read a banner held up as dozens of protesters gathered near the court in the capital, Algiers.

On Monday, Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal — a former central bank governor who only got the job from Bouteflika last month — appeared in court in relation to an investigation into suspected misuse of public funds, state TV reported.

At least five tycoons, some close to Bouteflika, have been detained and accused of involvement in corruption scandals.

 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Algeria army chief calls for ‘dialogue’ with protesters
01 May 2019
AFP


1 / 4
A demonstrator uses a bullhorn to shout protest slogans during a May Day march on Labour Day in Algiers, Algeria, May 1, 2019. (Reuters)

2 / 4
Algerian protestors shout slogans during a demonstration marking May Day in Algiers on May 1, 2019. (AFP)

3 / 4
Police officers prevent demonstrators from marching during a May Day protest on Labour Day in Algiers, Algeria, May 1, 2019. (Reuters)

4 / 4
Algerian protestors shout slogans during a demonstration marking May Day in Algiers on May 1, 2019. (AFP)

  • Salah was for years an ardent supporter of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, until demanding on April 2 that impeachment proceedings be launched against the ailing leader
  • An interim president has been put in place and elections set for July 4, but protests which pushed Bouteflika from power have not abated
ALGIERS: Algeria’s army chief called Wednesday for dialogue between protesters and state institutions, a day after pushing back against demonstrators’ demands for top politicians to quit.
“I remain entirely convinced that adopting constructive dialogue with the institutions of the state, is the only way to exit from the crisis,” General Ahmed Gaid Salah said in a statement published by the defense ministry.
This is “the wisest way to present constructive proposals, bring points of view closer and reach a consensus around the available solutions,” he added.
Salah was for years an ardent supporter of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, until demanding on April 2 that impeachment proceedings be launched against the ailing leader — who stepped down the same day.
An interim president has been put in place and elections set for July 4, but protests which pushed Bouteflika from power have not abated.
On Wednesday hundreds of people rallied outside the General Workers’ Union in the capital Algiers, marking May Day, where they clutched Algerians flags and shouted slogans against the “system.”
Police prevented them from joining other protesters gathered outside the city’s iconic post office, the focal point of demonstrations which began in February and have regularly drawn vast crowds.
Salah on Tuesday rebuffed calls by demonstrators for interim leader Abdelkader Bensalah, the former upper house speaker, and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui to step down.
In a speech, the army chief said the upcoming polls — which fall within the timeframe allowed by the constitution — amount to “the ideal solution to end the crisis.”

 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Thousands protest again against ruling elite in Algeria
Reuters -
03 May 2019

Thousands of protesters rallied peacefully in Algiers after Friday prayers, chanting “We will not shut up!” and demanding the departure of Algeria’s ruling elite a month after the downfall of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Weeks of demonstrations forced Bouteflika out of office on April 2 after 20 years in power. Protesters have continued mass demonstrations every Friday, demanding other members of the country’s elite also give way.

They are calling for the resignation of the interim president, Abdelkader Bensalah, who is serving for 90 days until an election on July 4, and of Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, appointed by Bouteflika days before he stepped down.

“You must go” and “Thieves you have destroyed the country”, read banners held up by protesters.

The army remains the most powerful institution in Algeria, having swayed politics from the shadows for decades. It has so far patiently monitored the mostly peaceful protests that at times have swelled to hundreds of thousands of people.

Last week the army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah – who helped push out Bouteflika after having him declared unfit for office – said several big corruption cases would come to light in a crackdown on graft.

A number of figures from the ruling elite including the finance minister, former prime minister and several rich businessmen have come under investigation in recent weeks.


 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Military will not allow violence in Algeria
Reuters -
02 May 2019


Algeria’s army chief of staff said the military will ensure the country does not descend into violence, state TV reported, as mass protests that prompted President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit on April 2 continue.

Bouteflika’s exit has not quieted protesters, who now demand dismantling of an entire ruling elite entrenched for decades, a shift towards more democracy and a crackdown on systemic corruption and cronyism.

Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah said ongoing marches showed there was consensus on how to exit the crisis, state TV reported. He did not elaborate and some protesters welcomed an effort by Salah to prosecute members of the ruling elite close to Bouteflika.

The army remains the most powerful institution in Algeria, having swayed politics from the shadows for decades. It has patiently monitored the mostly peaceful protests that at times swelled to thousands in number.

On Tuesday, Salah – who helped push out Bouteflika after having him declared unfit for office – said several big corruption cases would come to light in a crackdown on graft, private Ennahar TV station said.

Algeria’s ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party endorsed Salah’s approach and called on protesters and opposition parties to pursue dialogue to end the crisis.

“We hail the army’s leadership for its harmony with the people,” newly-elected FLN leader Mohamed Djemai said in televised comments. “Dialogue is the only way to get out of this situation.”

Djemai, a 50-year-old businessman, replaced Moad Bouchared as FLN chief, which governed the North African country since independence in 1962.

Mass protests broke out on February 22 to demand the departure of the entire ruling elite, including FLN.

“We feel pain and some party members cry when we hear ‘FLN, go,” Djemai said, referring to a slogan chanted by protesters. “We ask the peoples’ forgiveness if we made mistakes.”

Hundreds of people demonstrated again in Algiers on Wednesday for more reforms, TV footage showed.

 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Thousands of Algerians hold first rally of Ramadan
07 May 2019 KSA

Thousands of Algerian students joined the first rally of Ramadan on Tuesday, pressing on with weeks of protests against the ruling elite after president Abdelaziz Bouteflika quit.

Wearing national flags over their shoulders, crowds gathered around the post office of central Algiers, which has become the focal point of demonstrations. “We will go on with the marches and the protests during and after Ramadan,” said Kheredine, a second-year chemistry student.

“It’s true that it’s hot and that we fast, but we want to let the regime know that the mobilization continues,” he added. “If you think we’re tired, you’re wrong!” read a placard held by Sedik Ait, one of Kheredine's teachers.

Student rallies were also held in cities across the country, Algerian media reported, as protesters push for a sweeping overhaul of the political system.

They stand opposed to July 4 elections called by interim president Abdelkader Bensalah, who was appointed after Bouteflika stepped down last month.

The polls are strongly backed by Algeria’s army chief General Ahmed Gaid Salah, once an ardent supporter of Bouteflika who ultimately called for the president's impeachment.

Tuesday’s protest comes days after the arrest of the former president's brother, Said Bouteflika, a hugely influential figure who was frequently cited as a likely successor to his elder sibling.

Two former intelligence chiefs, General Mohamed Mediene, known as Toufik, and General Athmane Tartag were also detained and are facing charges including “conspiring” against the state.

Photos of the three were featured at the Algiers demonstration, alongside that of Gaid Salah who is largely thought to have ordered the arrests.

 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Algerian Figures Call for Agreement That Meets Protesters’ Aspirations
Sunday, 19 May, 2019


Demonstrators gesture towards police officers during an anti-government protest in Algiers, Algeria May 17, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

Algiers- Boualam Ghimrasah

Three prominent Algerian figures called on the military leadership to start “frank and honest” talks with representatives of the demonstrators, political parties and the civil society supporting the civil movement to find a consensual political solution as soon as possible.

They said this solution should respond to legitimate popular aspirations, which have been put forward every day for almost three months now.

As the situation in Algeria nears a dead-end, former Foreign Minister Ahmed Talib Brahimi, dean of human rights activists in Algeria senior Lawyer Ali Yahya Abdel Nour, 98, and the retired general, Rashid Ben Yels, proposed solutions.

The three figures are known for their engagement in public affairs, especially at times of crises.

“The deadlock witnessed nowadays carries grave dangers, in addition to the tension in our regional environment,” the three figures said in a joint statement.

“Sticking to July 4 to hold elections will only postpone the inevitable birth time of the new republic,” the statement added.

“How can we imagine holding free and fair elections that are already rejected by the vast majority of people, being organized by institutions that are still run by incompetent forces hostile to constructive change?” They wondered.

They were referring in their statement to acting head of state Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, who are both stalwarts of Bouteflika’s regime.

However, they both, in fact, are kept in their positions by Army Chief Gaid Salah under the pretext of “adhering to the constitution.”

Demonstrators, according to the statement, are calling for building a state of law with true democracy after ousting Bouteflika.

This law should be preceded by a short transition period led by figures who had nothing to do with the former corrupt system over the past 20 years.

“This phase is necessary in order to develop mechanisms and take measures that will allow the sovereign people to voice their opinions with freedom and democracy and decide on their president through ballot boxes,” the statement noted.

 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Algeria: Youth Refuse Constitutional Solution, Clash With Security Forces
22 May, 2019


A series of clashes erupt between security forces and demonstrators in Algeria (Arabic Website)

Algiers- Boualam Ghimrasah

Thousands of university students have taken to the street against the corruption-plagued politics in Algeria, refusing to yield to the army chief’s demand for popular backing of presidential polls slated for July 4 to elect a successor to ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

In parallel, Algeria’s judiciary decided to try former prime ministers facing corruption charges to the Supreme Court.

Public streets in Algiers witnessed continued authority on civilian violence as dissent grew against ex-regime stalwarts remaining in power. Despite Bouteflika’s step down from power, demonstrators have continued to rally in Algiers and across the country, demanding that transitional bodies be set up ahead of any election.

They also want the departure of figures close to Bouteflika including interim president Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui.

The army, a key powerbroker, has insisted the July 4 poll must go ahead and any change to the constitution would be up to a future president.

Hundreds of students from colleges, institutes and high schools gathered in the streets to protest against what they perceived as an attempt for the revival of the Bouteflika regime.

Contrary to the weekly protests, Tuesday’s march came after a speech given by the country's de facto ruler, Army Chief Gaid Salah, in which he attacked “conspirators and those seeking to block all possible solutions and drown the country in a political impasse."

Emphasizing "the need to accelerate the establishment of an independent body to organize and oversee the elections," Salah said holding the poll would "stop those who are trying to prolong this crisis."

Security forces broke up a student sit-in outside the government’s headquarters in Algiers, leading to limited clashes. No injuries have been reported.

The capital also saw thousands of students and faculty members stage demonstrations near the University of Algiers, where they chanted slogans against Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui and his caretaker government.

 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Algerian Protests Continue amid Public Dismay
Friday, 24 May, 2019


FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators hold flags and banners as they return to the streets to press demands for wholesale democratic change well beyond former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika's resignation in Algiers, Algeria April 19, 2019. REUTERS

Algiers - Boualem Goumrassa

Whilst a political flurry continues to storm Algeria, thousands of the North African state’s citizens are expected to take to the street in a fresh wave of protests against former regime stalwarts remaining in power.

Demanding the safe transition to civilian rule, Algerians are demanding Army Chief General Gaid Salah allows the setting up of transitional bodies ahead of any election, arguing the existing institutions are too marred by corruption for a legitimate vote to take place.

The army has backed the July 4 presidential polls, which were announced following the resignation of ailing leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika last month in the wake of mass protests.

On May 4 the former president's younger brother, Said Bouteflika, was arrested along with former secret service head General Mohamed Mediene and intelligence chief Athmane Tartag. A former Bouteflika loyalist, Salah played a key role in his downfall by calling for the president's impeachment just hours before he stepped down.

But since, heated conflict between military authorities and protesters has been broiling as the former regime’s elite continue to meddle with governance and public affairs.

There has also been implicit pushback against politicians who encouraged the popular movement. Some are being barred from speaking to youth at universities.

“Professors at the University Mohamed Boudiaf - M'sila had invited me to present a lecture about the situation in the country in the light of mobility. I was supposed to present Thursday. However, I was later informed that the dean refused on the grounds that the library is reserved for a certain activity,” leader of the Movement of Society for Peace (MSP) Ahmed Benbitour told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“I do not want to explain or interpret anything, but the professors considered it a political stance on the dean’s part,” Benbitour added.

Similar attempts at stifling dissent were spotted across the country as local authorities attempted to silence activists involved in the popular movement by limiting their access to speaking platforms.

The well-known sociologist Nasser Jabi and the famous lawyer Mustafa Bushashi, for example, were banned from lecturing at universities for undeclared reasons.


 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Algeria to block Total from buying Anadarko's Algerian assets: minister
May 26, 2019
Lamine Chikhi

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria will block Total from acquiring Anadarko’s assets in Algeria, energy minister Mohamed Arkab told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on Sunday.

Occidental Petroleum has agreed to sell Anadarko Petroleum Corporation’s assets in Algeria, Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa to Total for $8.8 billion if the U.S. oil company succeeds in completing its plan to take over Anadarko.

“Our ministry has contacted Anadarko to get explanations on this information, but so far we got no answer,” Arkab said.

“It means there is no contract between Total and Anadarko ...We have good relations with Anadarko and we will do the utmost to preserve Algeria’s interests, including using our pre-emption right to block the sale,” the minister said.

Anadarko holdings in Algeria represent about 260,000 barrels of oil per day, more than 25% of the country’s crude production estimated at 1 million barrels per day.

There was no immediate comment from Total or Anadarko.

In 2018, Algeria’s state energy firm Sonatrach and Total signed new agreements, including a contract to develop the Erg Issouane gas field and plans to create a joint venture.

Total said at the time that the development represented an investment of $400 million. It said it would also form a joint venture company called STEP for a joint petrochemical project in Arzew, western Algeria.

But the relationship between Algeria and France remains scarred by the trauma of the 1954-1962 independence war in which the North African country broke with France. Hundreds of thousands of Algerians were killed and both sides used torture.

Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; Editing by Jane Merriman and Daniel Wallis

 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Algerian prosecutor refers former PMs to supreme court over alleged corruption: state TV
May 26, 2019
Hamid Ould Ahmed

ALGIERS (Reuters) - An Algerian prosecutor has asked the supreme court to investigate two former prime ministers and eight former ministers for alleged corruption, state television reported on Sunday, citing a statement from the prosecution.

Mass protests broke out in Algeria earlier this year demanding the removal of the ruling elite and the prosecution of people demonstrators regard as corrupt.

Most of the 10 politicians named by the public prosecution served in the cabinet just before President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned on April 2 after pressure from protesters and the army.

The two former prime ministers are Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal, who was also Bouteflika’s election campaign manager, according to the list broadcast by state television.

The former government ministers on the list are Amara Benyounes, Abdelakader Zaalane, Amar Ghoul, Karim Djoudi, Abdessalam Bouchouareb, Boudjemaa Talai, Amar Tou and Abdelkader Bouazghi.

They were in charge of the sectors of trade, transport, public works, finance and industry, transport, high education and agriculture respectively.

Their lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment.

The army is now the most powerful institution after the departure of Bouteflika, who had ruled the North African country since 1999.

Army chief of staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah has said major corruption cases would be pursued to try to calm the protests which started on Feb.22.

Bouteflika’s youngest brother, Said, and two former intelligence chiefs have been placed in custody by a military judge for “harming the army’s authority and plotting against state authority.”

At least five prominent businessmen have also been detained pending trial over involvement in corruption cases.

Protesters also want the resignation of interim president Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Beoui, who are considered as part of the ruling elite that has run the country since independence from France in 1962.

Reporting Hamid Ould Ahmed, Omar Fahmy; writing by Hamid Ould Ahmed and Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Keith Weir and Raissa Kasolowsky

 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Algeria Army Chief Calls for 'Mutual Concessions' as Protests Continue
Tuesday, 28 May, 2019


Algerian protesters wave a national flag as they take part in a demonstration in the capital Algiers. (AFP)

Asharq Al-Awsat

Algeria's armed forces chief on Tuesday called for "mutual concessions" between the country's interim leaders and protesters demanding broader changes nearly two months after long-serving president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned.

General Ahmed Gaid Salah said the priority was to "move towards a productive dialogue that will help our country" out of the crisis and to ensure elections are held as soon as possible.

Gaid Salah, who has emerged as a de facto strongman since Bouteflika quit on April 2 in the face of massive protests, has repeatedly called for a constitutional solution through a July 4 presidential election.

But only two little-known figures submitted their candidacies on time for the disputed poll, raising doubts about the interim rulers' plans to stage it.

The election is strongly opposed by protesters who reject any vote held under authorities they say are tarnished by corruption from the rule of Bouteflika.

On Tuesday, thousands of students and teachers took to the streets of the capital chanting slogans against Gaid Salah and plans for the July election.

"No elections, mafia gangs," shouted the crowds as they marched peacefully through Algiers in the face of heavy police deployment.

They want regime figures including Gaid Salah and interim president Abdelkader Bensalah to step down ahead of any poll, and demand new independent institutions to oversee voting.

"Establishing dialogue means the willingness of all to listen to each other... and a sincere desire for the need to find appropriate solutions without delay," Gaid Salah said, quoted by the defense ministry.

The general called for constructive dialogue in which "mutual concessions" can be agreed and "differences are overcome, or at least gaps between contradictory points of view are reduced".

Gaid Salah warned against a drawn-out transition and urged Algerians to "learn from previous experiences and past events".

Algeria has been rocked by months of protests since the ailing Bouteflika announced in February that he would run for a fifth term.

He quit office but protesters have kept up mass demonstrations calling for an overhaul of the "system" and departure of key Bouteflika-era figures.

Under the constitution, Bensalah has 90 days to organize a presidential election from the date of his appointment on April 9.


 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Algeria: Not Possible to Hold July 4 Poll
Sunday, 2 June, 2019

A protester shouts slogans during a demonstration in Algiers. (AFP)

Asharq Al-Awsat

Algeria’s constitutional council has concluded on Sunday it will not be possible to hold presidential elections on July 4 as planned.

The constitutional council cited a lack of valid candidates, saying it had received only two candidates, who were deemed invalid, Reuters reported.

The council did not set a new date for the presidential elections.

It asked interim President Abdelkader Bensalah to organize a vote at a later date, state television said.

Bensalah had been appointed as interim leader until July 9.

 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Algeria: Not Possible to Hold July 4 Poll
Sunday, 2 June, 2019

A protester shouts slogans during a demonstration in Algiers. (AFP)

Asharq Al-Awsat

Algeria’s constitutional council has concluded on Sunday it will not be possible to hold presidential elections on July 4 as planned.

The constitutional council cited a lack of valid candidates, saying it had received only two candidates, who were deemed invalid, Reuters reported.

The council did not set a new date for the presidential elections.

It asked interim President Abdelkader Bensalah to organize a vote at a later date, state television said.

Bensalah had been appointed as interim leader until July 9.

 

Khafee

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,477
Reactions
5,301 259
Former Algerian officials questioned over corruption: TV
Hamid Ould Ahmed
June 16, 2019

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Two former powerful Algerian officials and a prominent businessmen were questioned in courts on Sunday, state TV said, over accusations of corruption in the ruling elite under ex-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Protesters and the army drove Bouteflika to resign on April 2 after two decades in power, but pressure has continued for the departure and prosecution of senior figures around him.

Among a plethora of ongoing cases, former finance minister Karim Djoudi appeared before the Supreme Court on Sunday, while former prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia was in another Algiers court, both over corruption accusations, state TV said.

Mourad Eulmi, head of the Algerian family-owned firm SOVAC which runs an assembly plant with Germany’s Volkswagen AG, was also questioned in the same court as Ouyahia.

State TV gave no more details and there was no immediate statement from the men or lawyers representing them.

The army is now the main player in Algerian politics and its chief of staff Ahmed Gaed Salah has urged the judiciary to speed up the prosecution of people suspected of corruption.

The court cases have not dampened the zeal of protesters pushing for radical change and a clean break with those who have governed since independence from France in 1962.

Djoudi served as finance minister under Ouyahia from June 2007 to May 2014 when he resigned on health grounds, before being named Bouteflika’s adviser for the past two years.

Bouteflika’s youngest brother, Said, and two former intelligence chiefs are in custody accused of “harming the army’s authority and plotting against state authority”.
Other prominent businessmen have also been detained at a prison in Algiers over corruption allegations.

Protesters are now seeking the departure of interim President Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, whom they view as part of the establishment.

Authorities have postponed a presidential election previously planned for July 4, citing a lack of candidates.
No new date has been set for the vote.

Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Keith Weir and Andrew Cawthorne

 

Top