Algeria: Ruling party abandons Bouteflika’s call for national conference

Algerian President Bouteflika

The National Liberation Front, the ruling Algerian party, abandoned the national conference sought by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and called for presidential elections, Anadolu reported.

“The national conference has become useless,” the private Al-Shorouq News reported the party’s spokesperson Hussein Khaldoun saying.

“The party calls for the authorities to choose an independent elections committee to arrange and organise the presidential elections.”

Algeria has witnessed largescale popular protests calling for Bouteflika to step down and not run in the scheduled elections next month. On 11 March, he withdrew his application to run for a fifth presidential term, postponed elections and announced holding a national conference to lay down a new constitution before carrying out early presidential elections.

The opposition rejected Bouteflika’s proposals and called for him to step down.

On Saturday, the most prominent parties proposed a roadmap to overcome the crisis based on choosing a presidential commission to replace Bouteflika, whose fourth term ends on 28 April, and a national consensus government as well as an independent elections commission to carry out new elections.