Algeria Announces 'Clean' May Elections
Algeria’s president announced on Thursday that elections in the country will be held on May 10, The Associated Press reported.
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika broke with tradition, the report noted, by making the announcement directly to Algerians on state television instead of convening the electoral college to set the date.
Bouteflika said the elections would pave the way to rebuilding the Algerian state to one characterized by good governance and social justice, and promised a clean election with surveillance carried out by representatives of the political parties as well as an independent political commission.
He said that international observers will also be allowed to monitor the contests.
This will be the first time elections are held in Algeria since the Arab Spring started last year. Algeria was one of the countries to be hit by protests, and hundreds were arrested by riot police as they called for the Bouteflika’s resignation.
Bouteflika subsequently lifted a state of emergency imposed in 1992, as Islamist militants waged war over the government's decision to ignore elections that gave a majority to a Muslim party.
Opponents of Bouteflika's regime have called for democratic reforms. Algerians have also protested rising food prices.