Algerian president sets early election date after protests

International

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria’s president has announced early parliamentary elections in June as part of efforts to address demands of pro-democracy protesters.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced last month that he would dissolve parliament to open the way for a new batch of candidates from outside the power structure. He also reshuffled the government and released around 30 detained activists, though dozens more remain jailed.

On Thursday, he announced a date for the new legislative elections: June 12, instead of next year as originally scheduled. They will be followed by local elections for mayors and town councilors.

In another effort to satisfy protesters, Algeria’s government finalized a new electoral bill Sunday aimed at limiting corruption and giving voters more choice. The last legislative election, in 2017, was marred by financial scandals that eventually sent several top officials to prison.

The Hirak protest movement pushed out Tebboune’s predecessor in 2019 after 20 years in power, but activists say the changes so far to Algeria’s opaque, military-dominated power structure have only been cosmetic.

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