Abdelaziz Bouteflika will not seek a fifth term. In a message sent Monday to the Algerian people, the current tenant of the palace of El Mouradia announced the postponement of the presidential election of April 18, but especially his decision not to take part. He also announced the formation of a government of national skills.
Here is the entirety of Bouteflika’s letter relayed by the Algerian press:
“Dear fellow citizens,
Algeria is going through a sensitive stage of its history. On March 8, for the third consecutive Friday, important popular marches took place across the country. I have followed these developments and, as I already told you on the 3rd of this month, I understand the motivations of the many compatriots who have chosen this mode of expression of which I once again wish to salute the character peaceful.
I particularly understand the message of young people in terms of both anguish and ambition for their own future and that of the country. I also understand the discrepancy that may have been cause for concern between, on the one hand, holding the presidential election on a technically appropriate date as a milestone of governance in institutional and political life and, on the other hand, the opening, without undue delay, of the vast project, politically high priority, design and conduct of profound reforms in the political, institutional, economic and social, with the widest possible participation and the most representative of the Algerian society , including the fair share of women and youth.
I finally understand that the project of renovating our nation-state, whose main articulations I have announced to you, would benefit from additional clarifications and be prepared, to dispel any doubt from the minds, by meeting the conditions of its appropriation by all social components of the Algerian Nation.
In faithfulness to the oath I have taken before the Algerian people to protect and promote in all circumstances the well-understood interests of our Homeland, and after the institutional consultations required by the Constitution, I invoke the grace and support of God Almighty to avail me of the superior values of our people, of which our glorious martyrs and brave Mujahideen have dedicated immortality to present to the address of your hearts and your consciences the following decisions:
First: There will be no fifth term and it was never discussed for me, my state of health and my age not assigning me as an ultimate duty to the Algerian people that the contribution to the foundations of foundations of a new Republic as part of the new Algerian system that we all hope. This new Republic and this new system will be in the hands of the new generations of Algerian and Algerian who will naturally be the main actors and beneficiaries of public life and sustainable development in the Algeria of tomorrow.
Second: There will be no presidential election on April 18th. This is to satisfy a pressing request that you have been many to address me in your concern to remove any misunderstanding as to the desirability and irreversibility of the generational transmission to which I am committed. It is also a question of making the noble purpose of the legal devices prevail which resides in a sound regulation of the institutional life and in the harmony of the socio-political interactions, on a rigid observation of pre-established deadlines. The postponement of the presidential election that has been demanded comes therefore to appease the apprehensions that have been manifested in order to pave the way for the generalization of serenity, tranquility and public security, with the aim of undertaking together the actions of historical importance which will make it possible to prepare as quickly as possible the advent of a new era in Algeria.
Third: With a view to greater mobilization of public authorities and enhancing the effectiveness of State action in all areas, I decided to make important changes within the Government in the near future. These changes will be an adequate response to the expectations you have come to me, as well as an illustration of my receptivity to the requirement of accountability and rigorous evaluation in the exercise of responsibilities at all levels and in all sectors.
Fourth: The inclusive and independent National Conference will be a forum with all the powers necessary for the discussion, development and adoption of all types of reforms to form the basis of the new system that will lead to the beginning of the transformation process of our country. Nation-state, that I Esteem to be my ultimate mission in the completion of the work of which God Almighty granted me the capacity and for which the Algerian people gave me the opportunity.
This conference will be equitably representative of the Algerian society as sensibilities that run through it. It will organize its work freely, under the direction of a plural presidential body, headed by a president who will be an independent, consensual and experienced national personality. The conference should strive to complete its mandate by the end of 2019.
The draft Constitution emanating from the Conference will be submitted to a popular referendum. The National Independent Conference will set the date of the presidential election, which I will not be a candidate in any case.
Fifth: The presidential election, which will take place in the wake of the inclusive and independent national conference, will be organized under the exclusive authority of an independent national electoral commission whose mandate, composition and mode of operation will be codified in a legislative text. based on the most established experiences and practices at the international level. The creation of an independent national electoral commission is decided in response to a demand largely supported by the Algerian political parties as well as to a constant recommendation of the electoral observation missions of the international and regional organizations invited and received by Algeria during the previous national election consultations.
Sixth: In order to contribute optimally to the holding of the presidential election under indisputable conditions of freedom, regularity and transparency, a Government of national competencies will be formed with the support of the components of the National Conference. This Government will assume the supervision of the missions of the public administration and the security services and will collaborate fully with the independent national electoral commission. For its part, the Constitutional Council will assume, in complete independence, the powers conferred on it by the Constitution and the law in the matter of presidential elections.
Seventh: I solemnly pledge before God the Almighty and in front of the Algerian people to spare no effort for the institutions, structures, dismemberments of the State and local communities to mobilize to contribute to the full success of this plan. job. I also undertake to ensure that all the constitutional institutions of the Republic scrupulously pursue the accomplishment of their respective missions and exercise their respective powers in the exclusive service of the Algerian people and the Republic. Finally, if God grant me life and assistance, I undertake to hand over the offices and prerogatives of the President of the Republic to the successor that the Algerian people will have freely elected.
Dear fellow citizens,
This is the way of salvation that I invite you to borrow together to protect Algeria against hardships, lacerations and loss of energy.
This is the path of a peaceful collective surge to enable Algeria to realize its full potential in a flourishing democracy, worthy of the glories of the history of our nation.
This is the path in which I ask you to follow me and help me.
“وقل اعملوا فسيرى الله عملكم ورسوله والمؤمنون”
صدق الله العظيم
Eternal glory to our valiant martyrs”.