Algerian army chief rejects role in presidential election

2018-07-27 08:24
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Algeria's army chief has told political parties to keep the military out of next year's presidential election, vigorously pushing back against calls for the army to oversee a transition period.

General Ahmed Gaid Salah said in a speech on Thursday that the army shouldn't be part of "political distractions." He said its loyalty is to the people and it is "above political partie".

The spring 2019 presidential election has thrown the North African nation into a slow-burning political crisis with the prospect that ailing, 81-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika may seek a fifth term.

Gaid Salah was responding to a call by the head of the moderate Islamist party, Abderrezak Makri, for the army to pilot a transitional period before an election.

Algeria's army has long been considered a behind-the-scenes decision-maker.

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Read more on:    algeria  |  north africa

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