Panel named to amend Algerian constitution


President Abdelmadjid Tebboune formed a panel to amend Algeria’s constitution to give parliament and the judiciary a greater role aimed at helping end a months-long political crisis.

Tebboune was elected last month to replace veteran leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika, forced to step down in April amid massive protests that have persisted, demanding a total change of the power structure.

Protesters opposed the election, arguing any vote held while the old elite still held power was illegitimate and thousands still demonstrate each week rejecting his offer of dialogue.

Tebboune’s office said in a statement 17 people on the new constitutional committee would have three months to submit proposals for discussion which could then be sent to parliament and then put to voters in a referendum.

The panel is led by Ahmed Laraba, a member of the UN International Law Commission. It has a mandate to look at all aspects of state organisation and reconsider the role of parliament and the judiciary to promote the rights of citizens.

Tebboune promised measures to diversify the oil-reliant economy by encouraging investment in non-energy sectors to reduce imports of food and other goods now costing over $40 billion annually.