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Algeria on course to approve new constitution

Algeria on course to approve new constitution


Algeria’s long-awaited constitutional reforms package has been passed and is awaiting to be voted by it’s Assembly and Senate.

Under the revised constitution, the president will be restricted to two terms in office, reversing a move taken in 2008 that enabled Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to stand for re-election the following year.

Binational citizens have also been prohibited from occupying top jobs in the country’s public service, a move that has angered the French-Algerian community.

The new constitution also requires that the president has support from the majority of parliament to appoint a prime minister, and stipulates freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to demonstrate peacefully.

The Tamazight (Berber) language has also been given official status. It was recognized as the second “national language” alongside Arabic in April 2002.

The president, who is suffering from ill-health, did not actively campaign for the changes, making only brief appearances in public and meeting foreign leaders at his private residence.

Despite the various amendments in the constitution, legal experts and political analysts say the document still maintains the political status quo in the oil rich nation.