Thursday, April 25, 2019

Algerian Army Chief Holds Onto Interim President Despite Protests
Wednesday, 24 April, 2019 - 08:30
Ashara al-Awsat

People carry national flags during a protest seeking the departure of the ruling elite, as the country prepares for the presidential election in Algiers, Algeria April 12, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina
Algiers- Boualem Goumrassa

Army Chief Lieutenant General Gaid Salah has again slammed protesters, dismissing their calls for the departure of interim president Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Badawi.

The protesters have also called for canceling the presidential elections set to be held on July 4.

Salah made a statement addressing protesters, accusing certain parties of intransigence and of turning their back to what has been accomplished since president Abdelaziz Bouteflika stood down earlier this month.

He also accused them of rejecting dialogue, in reference to the huge boycott of the consultative meeting held by the state’s presidency on Tuesday to discuss the establishment of an independent authority to supervise the elections and prepare for the presidential polls.

According to the Lieutenant General, "Our country has always been the target of despicable schemes, to destabilize it and undermine its security, due to its consistent positions and sovereign decision to rejecting any dictates.”

"We work quietly and with patience for the dismantling of the time-bombs planted by those corrupted and corrupters in different vital State sectors and structures," Salah said in an address before officers.

He added that "those sectors will be cleaned up by combining efforts of people of good faith, as well as through Algerian people's awareness."

Salah praised the role of both the Algerian people and "their children and brothers within the People's National Army in preserving State authority and the credibility of its institutions."

Meanwhile, Salah announced that he stands behind the arrest of five billionaires on corruption charges.

He urged the judiciary body to accelerate its clampdown on corruption and the theft of public funds, in addition to holding accountable anyone who steals from the people.

However, some observers considered his statement an intervention in judicial affairs, which is banned by the constitution.

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