Algerian army chief calls for presidential election this year


Algeria’s army chief Ahmed Gaed Saleh on Monday called on the electoral commission to issue on September 15 a formal announcement of a coming presidential election, state television reported.

Under Algerian law, the election must take place 90 days after the commission makes that announcement.

The official APS news agency quoted Salah as saying on Monday that an independent body “for the preparation, organization and surveillance of the election” should be quickly installed.

The country has been without an elected leader since longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was forced out in April, in part by a grassroots revolt that still holds weekly protests. Many in the vast protest movement seek a transition period toward democracy rather than a quick election and worry over Gaid Salah’s growing role as behind-the-scenes powerbroker.

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