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Algerian president sets June date for early legislative elections

Algerian president sets June date for early legislative elections
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Algeria

Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has set June 12 for early legislative elections after he dissolved parliament last month, his office said on Thursday.

The vote is part of Tebboune's promised political reforms following mass protests by the "Hirak" protest movement that forced his predecessor Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign in 2019 after 20 years in power.

Legislative elections were scheduled to be held in 2022, but Tebboune in February dissolved parliament and called for polls to be held before the end of the year as part of reforms.

As part of the reforms, Tebboune also released 59 detainees of the “Hirak” protest movement.

The upcoming election of the lower house of the national assembly would be held on the basis of a new electoral law, which Tebboune also ratified on Thursday, a statement from his office said.

Last month Tebboune pledged that the election would be free of corruption, and would “open the doors of parliament to young people”, adding that they “must have political weight.”

His remarks last month came on the eve of the second anniversary since the Hirak protests began.

Protests resumed three weeks ago after being paused due to a coronavirus lockdown imposed by the government in March 2020.

Demonstrators are demanding a sweeping overhaul of the ruling system in place since Algeria’s independence from France in 1962, and an end to the military’s domination of the North African country.

In November last year, Algerians voted for amendments to the constitution giving more powers to the prime minister and parliament, despite low voter turnout.

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