Algerian president announces constitutional change

Algerian president announces constitutional change

30 october 2008

ALGIER (AFP) — Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced on Wednesday that limited changes would be made to the country’s constitution in the coming judicial year.

In a speech to mark the beginning of that year he said that the revised version would have new measures « devoted to promoting women’s political rights and widening their representation in elected assemblies at all levels, » according to the official APS news agency.

He gave no date for the introduction of the reforms.

Bouteflika said his proposals to the country’s parliament aimed « to enrich the institutional system with the bases of stability, efficacity and continuity, » the agency said.

That process would be based on the « protection of the symbols of the glorious revolution … so that nobody can touch, change for the worse or manipulate them. »

It would concern the « reorganisation, precision and clarification of prerogatives and relationships between the constituent elements of the executive without, however, touching the balances of powers. »

He said the revision would « allow the people to exercise their legitimate right to choose those who govern them and renew their confidence in them in all sovereignty. »

He did not mention whether the revision of the constitution would concern the existing limit of two presidential terms. Algerian media have speculated that Bouteflika would like to abolish it.