The Algerian army leadership confirmed on Tuesday that “the era of making presidents in the country has long gone and that the people will choose their leader in transparent elections.”
This sentence was mentioned in the editorial of The Army Magazine, which speaks for the Algerian military establishment, in the September issue.
According to the article, “some low people are trying to disturb the course of the dialogue and trying to impact public opinion with distorted and poisonous ideas taking advantage of the legitimate hopes and aspirations of the people.”
“It seems that they are ignorant that the era of dictation and president-making has gone forever.”
The army did not mention the ones the institution to which it was referring. However, it is known that an opposition political current in Algeria rejects the army’s call for holding presidential elections before the end of 2019.
The ones taking this position are calling for a transitional phase in which a new constitution is drafted, and a constituent assembly is elected to establish what they described as the new republic.
It is composed mostly of secular and leftist parties and organisations, some of whom are also linked to the so-called “deep state” in the country.
This stream is often accused of being influential in the previous regimes and was behind the selection of several former presidents. Meanwhile, its supporters say the current army leadership wants to impose a new president through a formal election.
On Monday, the Council of Ministers, headed by interim President Abdelkader Bensalah, approved the two electoral bills and the creation of a supreme electoral body.
The president’s office said the two projects were launched in response to the suggestions proposed by the mediation team, which has been holding rounds of dialogue with parts of the political class amid rejection of other parts in recent weeks.
Last week, the Algerian army leadership called for presidential elections before the end of this year, considering that the situation could not bear any delay.
Since the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on April 2, Algeria has endured politically obstruction, because no agreement could be reached as regards to the most appropriate solution for the crisis.
Several secular parties and organisations are calling for the abolition of the constitution and the election of a constituent assembly to lead the transition process.
The other stream of activists and politicians support the efforts of the dialogue committee aiming to organise elections as soon as possible.
A third stream is pushing for the departure of all remnants of Bouteflika’s regime, such as interim President Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, and appointing consensual figures before any elections.
On more than one occasion, the army leadership rejected the transitional proposal and declared its support for the dialogue and mediation team, hoping to hold presidential elections soon without preconditions.