Algeria’s July election date implausible: Media

A protester shouts slogans during a demonstration in Algiers. (AFP)
Updated 27 May 2019

Algeria’s July election date implausible: Media

  • Despite Bouteflika’s departure, protesters have continued to stage mass demonstrations each Friday

ALGIERS: Algerian media said Monday there was very little chance a presidential election will be held as planned on July 4, after only two candidates — both little known — submitted their candidacies.

“The election ... will without any doubt be postponed or canceled,” the francophone El Watan daily asserted.

The poll was originally meant to take place on April 18, but longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s resignation early last month, on the back of huge street protests, forced a postponement.

To be eligible, the candidates — aeronautical engineer Hamid Touahri and Abdelhakim Hamadi, who heads a veterinary drug company — have to be backed by 600 local councillors and lawmakers or 60,000 voters in more than half the country’s regions.

“There is little chance that these two (candidates) will successfully collect” the required signatures, El Watan said.

Arabic daily Echorouk said there was no doubt that “the Constitutional Council should officially announce the postponement” of the poll.

Touahri and Hamadi met a deadline of midnight on Saturday to submit their candidacies, setting in motion a 10-day period for the Constitutional Council to rule on their eligibility.

Despite Bouteflika’s departure, protesters have continued to stage mass demonstrations each Friday.

They want regime figures including army chief Ahmed Gaid Salah and interim President Abdelkader Bensalah to step down ahead of any poll, and demand new independent institutions to oversee voting.


Saudi Arabia, other Middle East countries warn citizens after protests erupt in Lebanon

Updated 2 min ago

Saudi Arabia, other Middle East countries warn citizens after protests erupt in Lebanon

  • Saudi Arabia and Egypt called on citizens to avoid protest areas
  • Kuwait’s embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to Lebanon to postpone their plans

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Lebanon called on its citizens to avoid places where protests are taking place in the country on Friday. 

The Kingdom’s embassy in Beirut advised its nationals to take care and to “stay away from places of protest,” Al-Ekhbariya news channel reported. 

It also announced that the Lancaster Plaza Beirut hotel in the capital's Raouche neighborhood is a gathering point from which Saudi nationals can be transported to Beirut airport. 

Egypt’s embassy in the Lebanese capital Beirut also called on its nationals in the country to avoid protest areas, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.

“The embassy calls on all Egyptian citizens in Lebanon to avoid the areas of gatherings and protests, to be careful in their movements and to abide by the instructions of the Lebanese authorities in this regard,” MENA said.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to Lebanon to wait because of the current protests and unrest.

“The embassy also calls on citizens currently in Lebanon to take utmost care and stay away from crowds and demonstrations,” the embassy said in its tweet.

Protesters across Lebanon blocked roads with burning tires on Friday and thousands marched in Beirut, calling on the government to resign over an economic crisis.