The President of Algeria, Abdelmayid Tibune, announced this Thursday the dissolution of the lower house of Parliament and has called early legislative elections. “I have decided to dissolve the Assembly and call elections to build a new institution,” he said in a televised speech to the nation on the occasion of Martyr’s Day, which is commemorated this February 18 to honor those who fought for the country’s independence. Tebune has also anticipated that it will carry out remodeling of its Government in the next 24 or 48 hours. The decision comes after a series of meetings in the last two days with the leaders of various political parties, just after having returned to the country from Germany, where he has been hospitalized first for Covid-19 and then for medical complications.
The president, who came to power after the December 12, 2019 elections, has met with a total of six political representatives, including opposition groups Jil Jadid (New Generation) and Frente de Fuerzas Socialistas (FFS). Tebune has specified that its decision to organize parliamentary elections is aimed at “allowing young Algerians to integrate into Parliament,” according to the digital medium Algérie 360. Just next Monday marks the second anniversary of the outbreak of protests against the Abdelaziz Bouteflika regime, motivated by the president’s declaration of running for a fifth term. The mobilization – called Hirak and which has always been peaceful – managed to unseat the Bouteflika clan, although the military regime resisted the challenge and has continued to monopolize power.
In this context, Tebune has used his speech to wink at Hirak by decreeing a presidential pardon for the dozens of detainees for participating in the popular protest movement. “The Hirak has saved Algeria. I have decided to grant presidential pardon to some thirty people for whom a court decision has been made, as well as for those for whom no verdict has yet been taken. Between 55 and 60 people have been they will reunite with their families starting tomorrow, “he said, according to Press. The 74-year-old president has been out of the game for months because of the coronavirus. He was hospitalized in Germany at the end of last October and hardly anything was known about his state of health until he reappeared before the cameras on December 13, assuring that he was recovering. After returning to Algiers on December 30, at the beginning of this January he returned to Berlin to receive treatment for the aftermath of the disease and has remained there until his return, last weekend.