Call for Algerian elections


Algeria’s army chief wants elections later this year to choose a new president after mass protests forced the April resignation of veteran leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika, state media reported.

State television cited Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Saleh as saying the electoral commission “should issue a call on September 15”, a move that under Algerian law would come 90 days before a presidential election.

An election was scheduled for July, but authorities cancelled it citing a lack of candidates without giving a new date.

Protesters demanded the elections be postponed until the old ruling elite, including interim president Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, was forced from power.

The army, now the main player in Algerian politics, repeatedly urged the opposition to co-operate by holding an election as soon as possible.

Algeria’s judiciary opened corruption investigations into former senior officials and Bouteflika allies.