Algeria names panel to hold presidential


Algerian interim president Abdelkader Bensalah has set up a six-member panel to hold presidential election and also oversee a national dialogue, aimed at ending months of protests in the country.

“The dialogue will cover all aspects related to the organisation of this election, its necessary conditions … and the date of the election,” a statement released by the presidency read.

“The dialogue must be inclusive of the whole political class, national figures and civil society,” it added.

The panel will be led by former parliament speaker Karim Younes. Other members also include two experts in law, an economic expert and two politicians.

“National dialogue remains the only way that can guarantee a peaceful outcome in line with what Algerians are expecting,” Younes said. “We are aware of the national impasse in which we live.”

The panel will immediately start consultations with people willing to take part in the dialogue, the statement said.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepped down on April 2 after 20 years in power, under pressure from mass protests demanding the removal of the ruling elite and the prosecution of people suspected of corruption.

Authorities had earlier planned to hold elections on July 4 but later canceled it citing a lack of candidates.

No new date has been set.

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