Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has called for the dissolution of the lower house of Parliament and early legislative elections as the North African nation struggles with health, political and economic crises.
In an address to the nation on Thursday, Tebboune said he will carry out a government reshuffle within 48 hours, and issued a pardon for dozens of jailed activists of the “Hirak” protest movement.
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“I decided to dissolve the current National People’s Assembly, and to pass directly to elections free of corrupt money and open to youth,” Tebboune said in a speech broadcast on state television.
Tebboune, who has previously expressed dissatisfaction with the cabinet of Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad, said the government reshuffle would take place “within 48 hours at most”.
“The ministerial reshuffle will include sectors that have experienced a lack of performance of their tasks,” Tebboune said.
The president added that within 15 or 20 days, there will be final texts for the installation of the Higher Council for Youth.
Algeria’s government is facing multiple challenges as the coronavirus pandemic adds to the woes of an oil-dependent economy.
He also announced an amnesty for dozens of jailed members of the Hirak, which swept former strongman Abdelaziz Bouteflika from power in 2019.
“The blessed Hirak has saved Algeria,” he said, announcing a “presidential pardon” to around 55 to 60 people, who he said would return to their homes “tomorrow”.