Power Struggle: Algerian Assembly Elects New Speaker

Algeria’s National Assembly on Wednesday elected Mouad Bouchareb, 47, as new speaker by 320 votes with one absentee.

Mouad Bouchareb will now replace Saïd Bouhadja who is accused of alleged mismanagement and “inability” to lead. The disputed Speaker adamantly refused to resign despite a series of decisions announced by the FLN party.

Bouhadja claims that per the constitution he, “remains the legal and legitimate president of the assembly”. He denounced a breach of the rule of law, separation of powers and respect for institutions.

Until now, the new Speaker of Parliament was the leader of the parliamentary group of the National Liberation Front party of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

A broad shake-up of the ruling party and military hierarchy was initiated earlier this year by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, or so it is reported.

Early July, the commander of the national gendarmerie was sacked, along with the heads of three out of six military districts.

The powerful Director General of Algeria’s police force, Abdelghani Hamel, was dismissed late June.

The series of sackings of high-level army figures – considered king-makers in Algeria – come just seven months ahead of the country’s presidential election.

There is still uncertainty over whether the ailing 81-year-old Bouteflika will seek a fifth term in office, although senior figures of his party already expressed their support for a re-run.

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