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Algeria commissioner: Invitation to monitor elections will be decided by government

February 18, 2019 at 4:25 pm

A voting booth in Algeria [Flickr]

The Head of the High Independent Commission for Elections in Algeria, Abdul Wahab Dirbal, has stressed that inviting international observers to monitor the country’s upcoming presidential election is a sovereign decision that will be taken by the government.

During a speech he gave at the seminar entitled “The High Independent Commission for Election in Algeria (HICE) and Ways to Promote Democracy,” Dirbal stated that “international observers are often invited within the framework of international exchange and in cooperation with the Arab League, the Organisation of African Unity, the EU, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation or the United Nations”.

He added that “the international observers’ visit to monitor the electoral process further helps Algeria to develop strong cooperative ties with countries and benefit from their experiences thanks to their observations and discussions.”

Dirbal explained that the Commission had been undertaking field visits to ensure the upcoming elections would be free and fair. He pointed out that the “field visits carried out by the Commission in the Laghouat and Djelfa governorates will be followed by tours targeting Tissemsilt and Ain Defla, in order to reach the level required for the elections”.

“I do not think that the Algerian legislative branch expected this number of presidential candidates. We must acknowledge that these elections are a critical responsibility and that the head of state is the most important position,” he said.

“It is true that the right to express the desire to run for presidency is guaranteed for all citizens by the constitution, but this should be regulated according to the previous elections, which had witnessed the participation of no more than 15 candidates. However, having more than 150 candidates triggers the need for more serious observation, consideration, study and treatment,” Dirbal explained.

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