Algeria MPs padlock parliament in protest against speaker

Algerian deputies from the National Liberation Front (FLN) and National Democratic Rally (RND) block the entrance of the National People's Congress in Algiers. AFP
Updated 16 October 2018
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Algeria MPs padlock parliament in protest against speaker

  • Protesters block the entrance with a chain and padlock

ALGIERS: Around 200 deputies kept Algeria’s parliament locked up for several hours Tuesday in a protest to press demands for the house speaker to step down.
“We’re here to demand the speaker resigns,” Abdelhamid Si Affif, the head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, told AFP after the protesters blocked the entrance with a chain and padlock.
Said Bouhadja, president of Algeria’s lower house, has since late September resisted calls to resign over charges of “mismanagement, exaggerated and illicit expenses and dubious recruitment.”
“This doesn’t scare me. I will go to the People’s National Assembly (parliament) because I am the president of this institution,” Bouhadja told the TSA news website.
He did not, however, make an appearance at Tuesday’s protest, which lasted until around midday before the deputies dispersed.
Algeria’s constitution and laws do not lay down a procedure for the dismissal of a parliament speaker if he refuses to step aside.
But those pushing for the speaker’s exit said a meeting of senior lawmakers was being planned for Wednesday to oust Bouhadja and pave the way for a successor to be chosen.
Opposition groups condemned Tuesday’s action led by the majority parties in the 462-member parliament, including President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s National Liberation Front (FLN) of which the speaker is a member.
Ahmed Sadok, parliamentary head of the Movement for the Society of Peace, an Islamist group, said the action “did no honor for the deputies, for parliament or the image of the country.”
“If the deputies of the majority no longer want to work with Mr.Bouhadja... their action must be legal. For the moment, there is nothing to prevent him carrying out his duties,” he said.


Egyptian voters urged to allow El-Sisi rule until 2030

Updated 21 April 2019
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Egyptian voters urged to allow El-Sisi rule until 2030

  • Egyptian officials said the results should be ready in a week after the elections
  • Opposition parties asked voters to refuse the suggested changes

CAIRO: Egyptian pro-government media are urging a "Yes" vote on the second day of a nationwide referendum that would allow President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to stay in power until 2030.
Polls reopened at 0700 GMT on Sunday. Voting will continue through Monday to allow maximum turnout, which the government hopes will lend the referendum legitimacy.
Election officials say results are expected within a week.
Opposition parties have called on voters to reject the changes, blasted by critics as a major step back to authoritarianism.
Voting comes amid an unprecedented crackdown on dissent since the 2013 military ouster of an elected but divisive president.
El-Sisi came to power in 2014 and was re-elected for a second four-year term last year.
Trucks with loudspeakers drove around central Cairo Sunday morning urging high turnout.