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26nd Safarul Muzaffer 1436 | Sunday, Dec 21, 2014
World

Algeria president pledges political reforms

Saturday, 16 April 2011
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April 16:

Algeria, April 16: Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has vowed to bring a string of major political reforms, including an overhaul of the country's electoral law and amendment of the constitution.

In a Friday speech, Bouteflika stated that he would amend the constitution, end imprisonment of journalists, make changes to the electoral law and ensure free and fair elections in an effort to enhance democracy in the African country,

"To crown the institutional edifice with the aim of strengthening democracy, it is important to introduce the necessary amendments to the constitution," the 74-yrear-old Algerian president said in his first address to the nation in at least three months.

"All measures will be taken to ensure free and fair elections, including supervision by international observers," he added.

Bouteflika also pledged to cooperate with all political parties, including the opposition groups to press ahead with reforms in Algeria, which is due to hold the next presidential election in 2014.

Earlier in January, Algerian people started to protest nationwide when the government announced price hikes for basic commodities such as oil and sugar.

The Algerian president, who has been in power for 12 years, also pledged to introduce a new information law to replace the current one, which provides for jail sentences of two to 12 months and fines from 50,000 to 250,000 dinars (about $1,000 to $5,000).

Bouteflika also insisted that Algeria rejects foreign interventions against the backdrop of NATO-led military operations in crisis-hit Libya.

----_Agencies

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