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Algeria party calls for consensual committee to consider constitution amendment

The head of the Justice and Development party, Abdullah Jaballah [Magharebia/Flickr]
The head of the Justice and Development party, Abdullah Jaballah [Magharebia/Flickr]

The Justice and Development Front in Algeria called on Thursday for the creation of a consensual commission to study the proposals for the draft amendment to the constitution under discussion, instead of designating the current team of experts for the mission.

On 7 May, the Algerian presidency announced the expert committee’s proposals to amend the constitution. The draft had been distributed to the political class for discussion, before the committee completed the final version to be presented to a popular referendum.

The party, headed by Abdullah Jaballah, announced in a statement that: “The current authority is called today to reconsider this path, especially regarding the methodology of preparing the preliminary draft to amend the constitution, which should be the subject of a dialogue and a discussion, far from the policy of the fait accompli.”

He considered that: “It is necessary to exclude the return of the committee, which prepared the draft and that was previously designated on the one hand, and to progress towards a consensus by appointing another more consensual commission that has wide representation, on the other hand.”

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President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has repeatedly stated that the draft presented for discussion is open to any proposal for any addition or deletion.

Several days ago, Mohammed Laqab, one of Tebboune’s assistants, announced that the presidency had received more than 1,200 proposals regarding the draft constitution, and that a committee at the presidential level was organising and classifying them before making the required amendments, so that the final version would be ready on 30 June.

On Wednesday, the acting army chief of staff, Major General Saïd Chengriha, confirmed in a speech at the Ministry of Defence, that the military establishment: “Highly values what is stated in the draft constitution.”

Local media reports considered this statement as a “recommendation” from the army command for the proposed amendments.

The most important amendments proposed by the team of experts included the creation of a vice president position for the first time, lifting the ban on sending elements of the army outside the borders, and the expansion of the powers of the prime minister, who is appointed by the president after consulting the parliamentary majority.

The constitutional amendment process is part of the successive political developments in Algeria since 2 April, 2019, after removing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office, following popular protests against his rule.

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