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Algeria: Preparations for presidential inauguration 

December 19, 2019 at 3:28 am

President of Algeria Abdelmadjid Tebboune holds a press conference in Algiers, Algeria on 13 December 2019 [Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency]

Algeria is preparing to inaugurate Abdelmajid Tebboune who will become the first president who did not participate in the War of Independence.

Tebboune, who won the presidential elections a week ago with 58.13 percent of votes in the first round, will be inaugurated on Thursday, at the Palais des Congrès, west of Algiers.

Article 89 of the Constitution stipulates that “the President of the Republic shall take an oath before the people, in the presence of all the highest bodies of the nation, during the week following his election, and shall undertake his mission as soon as he takes the oath.”

During the inauguration ceremony, Tebboune will take over the presidential duties from Interim President Abdelkader Bensaleh. Bensaleh succeeded Abdelaziz Bouteflika who was in power for 20 years but was brought down by a popular uprising supported by the army.

Tebboune, 74, will be the first president to take over the leadership of Algeria among the generation of government officials, who assumed responsibilities after the independence in 1962. Thus, the new Algerian president has not had the title “Mujahid” (militant), that is, one of the War of Independence’s veterans, who strived against French colonialism (1954/1962).

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Article 87 of the Constitution states that he who “is elected to the presidency of the republic must prove his participation in the November 1954 revolution, if he was born before July 1942,” or “prove that his parents were not involved in actions against the liberation revolution if he was born after July 1942″ “.

This condition for holding the presidency is considered constant in the Algerian Constitutions since the independence on 5 July 1962, which resulted in limiting the position to the War of Independence’s veterans; i.e. this stage of the Algerian history is referred to as the period of “revolutionary legitimacy”.

Since Algeria’s independence, 11 interim and elected presidents have ruled the country, all of whom participated in the revolution toward Independence, beginning with the late President Ahmed Bin Bella (1962-1965), and the last of them was Abdelkader Bensaleh, the current interim president.

Over the past few years, the State discourse, propagated by government officials, asserted that Algeria is heading towards ending the “rule in the name of the revolutionary legitimacy” and passing the torch to the generation of independence via fair elections.

In his first speech after the announcement of the election results last Friday, Tebboune said: “I consider myself to be standing at a linking point between the past and present generations, while attempting to pass the torch to the youth,” in reference to two-thirds of the country’s population (estimated at 43 million), according to official statistics.