Algerian political parties call for negotiation to end crisis

ALGIERS- Political parties and prominent persons in Algeria have announced proposals for edging further toward solving the political stalemate in the north African country following the resignation of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The majority of the proposals appear to reject the presidential election planned on July 4 while calling for the end of the current cabinet and the interim president to open the way for a transitional period of at least six months led by reliable personnel ahead of organizing fair and free elections.

The latest proposal was announced on Saturday by three figures, including former foreign minister Ahmed Taleb Ibrahimi, former leader of Algerian Human Rights League Ali Yahia Abdennour, and retired general Rachid Benyelles.

The three men signed a common statement urging the army to initiate dialogue with political parties, social forces, unions and representatives of the protest movement, in a bid to reach consensus to the crisis while meeting the aspirations that have been chanted for three months by the people.

The statement said that cancelling presidential polls of July 4 and instating a short term transition period are inevitable steps before enabling the people to practice their choice through free and fair elections to build democratic rule of law.

The proposal is likely to be adopted by the army given that the majority of the protesters have expressed their rejection to participate in July 4 election.

An editorial of the state-run newspaper of El Moudjahed on Sunday noted that there is a consensus over organizing a national dialogue as soon as possible, as the nation has major economic and security challenges to take straight away, amid instability reigning in the region.

Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah is intended to address a new speech on Sunday or Monday, during his visit to the fourth military region of in the southernmost province of Ouargla.

Observers believe that Gaid Salah could by then respond to the proposal of Ibrahimi, Benyelles and Yahia Abdennour, which could be the starting point toward reaching a way out to the crisis. Algerians have been taking to the streets on every Friday since Feb. 22, as they are claiming radical change and rendering power to the people.

They opposed Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth presidential term, urged the government to step down and rejected the presidential elections slated for July 4.On April 2,

Bouteflika resigned under the pressure and cancelled the presidential election scheduled for April 18.Abdelkader Bensalah, head of the upper house of parliament, was then named interim president for 90 days, according to the Algerian Constitution.

Bensalah has announced the organization of a presidential election within three months.

Source: Ghana News Agency