Algerian president 'to amend constitution'

Abdelaziz Bouteflika vows "to reinforce representative democracy", tackle unemployment, and help the poor.

    Bouteflika had not spoken in public for at least three months until Friday's televised address

    The Algerian president has pledged reforms after weeks of simmering protests.

    In a televised address to the nation, Abdelaziz Bouteflika said he had decided to amend the constitution "to reinforce representative democracy" in Algeria, and that he will also launch other legislative reforms.

    "I will urge the parliament to review all the legislative framework," he said on Friday.

    Bouteflika, who has not spoken in public for at least three months, also vowed to take steps to tackle unemployment.

    He said Algeria is moving to achieve the demands of the people, especially the young and unemployed, and outlined a number of measures to help the poor.

    He said the government will subsidise housing to make it more affordable, "so that everyone have the ability to enjoy their citizenship and no one has more privileges than the others".

    He also pledged a new programme to develop the administration system and "stop any embezzlement of national wealth".

    Sporadic protests have been held in Algeria in recent months.

    In response, Bouteflika lifted a 19-year old state of emergency in February.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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