Algeria’s president unilaterally cancels election

Abdelaziz Bouteflika

As suggested yesterday by the Algiers Herald, Algeria’s regime has opted for the postponement of the election without setting a timeline for the next election, which could result in Bouteflika remaining president until his death.

Some have come out to celebrate already in Algiers’ city center, others have already expressed their anger at what they consider a constitutional coup.

The president also signed on Monday a presidential decree ending the functions of the President of the Independent High Authority for the Elections (HIISE), Abdelouahab Derbal, and the designated members of this body, through a statement made earlier by the Presidency of the Republic. The constitution of the country only prescribes a postponement of the election in a time of war, which isn’t the case in this instance.

This decision is likely to drive Algeria down a dangerous path since Bouteflika has essentially opted to challenge the street and violate the constitution again.

In the announcement made today, through a letter attributed to the ailing president, the Bouteflika regime also nominated Noureddine Bedoui as prime minister.

For many Algerians interviewed by the Algiers Herald, the cancellation of the election has been decided to allow the regime enough time to find a potential candidate for Bouteflika’s replacement.

Although France has stated over the past few days that it does not comment or interfere with Algeria’s political affairs, it has nonetheless decided to side with Bouteflika today, shortly after the announcement.

As far as the Algerian law is concerned, Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s legal term ends on the 28th of April 2019.