Algerian parliament approves reforms

2016-02-07 20:07
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Algiers - Algeria's parliament on Sunday overwhelmingly voted for long-awaited constitutional changes curbing the president's powers.

The amendments limit the president's tenure to two five-year terms and give parliament the right to vote on the prime minister whom the president appoints.

The new charter also recognises the Amazigh of Algeria's minority Berber community as an official language second to Arabic.

Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal described the changes as "radical political reforms."

"These amendments respond to current transformations in the world," he told parliament, where loyalists of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika wield the majority.

The opposition has dismissed the changes as a sham.

Bouteflika promised political reforms following the 2010-11 Arab Spring revolts that swept across North Africa and the Middle East.

Bouteflika, 78, has been in power since 1999. He suffered a stroke in 2013.

He has rarely been seen in public since his re-election to a fourth term in 2014. His current term ends in 2019.

Read more on:    algeria  |  north africa

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