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Algeria: President affirms move towards charter changes

People stage a demonstration demanding regime change in Algeria at Trafalgar Square in London, United Kingdom on 16 March, 2019 [Tayfun Salcı/Anadolu Agency]
People stage a demonstration demanding regime change in Algeria at Trafalgar Square in London, United Kingdom on 16 March, 2019 [Tayfun Salcı/Anadolu Agency]

Amid ongoing protests against his rule, Algeria’s president on Monday reaffirmed his decision to hold a national conference meant to lead to a constitutional referendum, says Anadolu Agency.

Algerians protest president’s bid for 5th term - Cartoon [Mohammad Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Algerians protest president’s bid for 5th term – Cartoon [Mohammad Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

In a letter reported by local media, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 82, said that Algeria is about to change its political regime and political approach with a national conference that will take “decisive decisions,” adding that it will lead to comprehensive constitutional changes that will face a referendum, local media reported.

Last week, Bouteflika postponed the April 18 presidential election and withdrew his candidacy following weeks of mass protests against his nomination for a fifth term.

Algerians staged large demonstrations in several parts of the country on Friday protesting Bouteflika postponing the elections, calling it an extension of Bouteflika’s fourth term.

READ: Algeria proposes dialogue with protesters on new political system

Last month, Algeria’s ruling National Liberation Front nominated Bouteflika – who has ruled Algeria since 1999 – to run for office.

Opposition figures have repeatedly urged the elderly president, who in 2013 was treated for a blood clot in the brain, to bow out of the election.

OPINION: The Algerian regime is ‘politically dead’ so there is cause for optimism

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