Algeria: Army Chief backs interim President’s call for dialogue

The head of the Algerian army Wednesday threw his support behind interim President’s last week call a national and neutral dialogue in view of setting a date presidential elections.
Interim President Abdelkader Bensalah’s call was rejected by new demonstrations and a forum of opposition parties and political activists on Saturday who demanded elections in six-month time and overseen by an independent body.
Army Chief Ahmed Gaid Salah took the side of the Bensalah noting that the move is “reasonable” and sensible approach” to prevent the North African country from sliding into political instability.
“As much as we encourage and support its contents, we consider his approach as an important step on the path toward the appropriate resolution of this crisis,” Gaid also stressed at an official ceremony.
Gaid’s support comes as Bensalah’s interim role continues after his first 90-day mandate ended on July 9.
The Algerian parliament in April elected Bensalah after former leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepped down after demand by protesters and the army to scrap his plans to seek a fifth term in office.

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