BY- V SREELAKSHMI
According to a report by the official Algerian news agency, Algeria President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has signed a presidential decree on the recently amended constitution on Friday. The new Constitution was adopted in a public referendum on 1st November 2020.
The presidential decree signed by Tebboune has formally promulgated the recently amended constitution including the publication of the constitutional amendments in the Official Gazette. It is one of the first decrees signed by Tebboune since his return to Algeria from Germany. He returned on Tuesday after spending 2 months in Germany, where he was undergoing treatment for Covid-19. Tebboune is at present 75 years old and was elected as President in 2019.
The Constitutional changes majorly aim at increasing the freedoms in Algeria. The law allows the renewal of the Presidential term only once and also provides for reducing the president’s powers. This was undertaken with an intent to prevent shifts towards autocratic policies.
However, the Opposition believes that these amendments are adopted to widen presidential powers.
The amendments were introduced with an objective to establish a strong commitment towards maintaining the separation of powers. It is clearly evident through the provisions introduced, which enables greater independence of the judiciary, the irremovability of judges, and the eliminations of the minister of justice and the attorney general as members of the superior council of the judiciary.
The changes introduced in the legislative wing of Algeria include the creation of term limits for the parliamentarians, abolishing the right to issue orders during the parliamentary break, and also requires the government to elaborate on various bills and texts of an application.
With the new law being adopted, various new institutions have been formed. One of the key amendments provides for establishing a constitutional court which shall replace the constitutional council. The other provisions provide for creation of a national civil society observatory and forming a national, economic, social and environmental council.
According to the electoral commission, the amendments were approved by 66.8% of the electorate. Around 23. 8 % of Algeria’s eligible voters participated in the referendum.
The adoption of the new constitution is a significant step toward greater governmental transparency and a firm transition into a democratic-era Algeria.