Algeria Pursues Reforms

Published on 10th May 2011

Abdelaziz Bouteflika              Photo courtesy
At the start of the last decade, the major national challenge in Algeria was to re-establish peace and national reconciliation. These objectives were achieved. With the return of peace,  it was essential to start the reconciliation of the country and to overcome the accumulated gaps. In this regard two great programs of public investments, at all levels, were initiated while a third one is ongoing.

Much progress has been made. Concerning the housing sector, a great effort has been made since 2000 to satisfy the need of the people. One million units will be delivered by 2014. Rural areas will also benefit from loans to access to housing. Unemployment has been reduced. The country has embraced the principles of social justice and solidarity.

A new mechanism has been put in place to stabilize the rising prices of food products. The investment has been stimulated by important incentive measures through access to land and greater availability of bank loans as well as the establishment of micro-companies in favor of the youth and unemployed persons. The social scourge such as corruption, nepotism and waste will be firmly combated.

For more than two decades, Algeria has engaged in a political pluralism for which the people pay a heavy tribute without any aid or assistance. Pluralism is reflected in the existence of about thirty political parties  and a plural parliament. On freedom of expression, Algeria has no prisoner of opinion or political detainee. Today we have to make progress in deepening the democratic process, enhancing the rule of law, reducing inequalities and accelerating socio-economic development.

Relying on the constitution, I will use the right conferred to me to urge the parliament to review the entire legislative system of which the rules of the democratic practices and the citizen’s free choice are based. Conscious of the responsibilities which rest on me, I have decided to introduce legislative and constitutional amendments in view to straighten the representative democracy in our country. Therefore I have decided to:

•Review the electoral law

•Update the electoral system up to the modern norms of the representative democracies, consecrated by the constitution. For this purpose all the political parties represented or not in the parliament, will be associated.

•Have an organic law related to the representation of women within the elected assemblies tabled and promulgated before the next legislative elections.

• Have an organic law on incompatibility cases with the parliamentary mandate introduced in accordance with the constitution, review the law related to political parties, through the revision of their role, assignment and organization, in order to contribute more efficiently to the process of renewal; aim towards poll’s transparency for example allowing election monitoring by international observers.

•Enhance the decentralization and more effective participations of the citizens in the decision making process concerning the local affairs, in the environment, economic, social and cultural fields.

•Strengthen the associative movement’s position in the society as a space on intermediation and mediation between citizens and public authorities, by reviewing the law of associative movement.

All means will be guaranteed, including the participation of all public institutions and administrations, for the optimal accomplishment of human rights.

The law on information will be also revised and will introduce the bench marks of the deontological charter. The current legislation on press law and media freedom will be revisited. These reforms will be engaged before the legislative elections to be held next year. This period is sufficient for the review, the improvement and the consolidation of the legal basis of the democratic exercise and expression of the people’s will in order to meet their expectations of a quality representation within the elected assemblies.

By Abdelaziz Bouteflika
President of the Republic of Algeria. 

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