Following of current Algerian President’s nomination withdrawal, what are the scenarios possible for a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Algeria? Two options relate to Article 102, which states that the Speaker of Parliament would take office for 90 days without presidential powers.
Following protests in Algeria against the nomination of current President Abdulaziz Bouteflika for a fifth term, Bouteflika announced that he would no longer be participating in the upcoming elections. While this seemed like a positive outcome, Bouteflika also announced that he would be extending the term of his fourth term until changes are made to the country’s constitution.
This move has angered citizens throughout Algeria who continued their protest against Bouteflika, demanding that the elections take place at their proposed time and without Bouteflika’s nomination.
As a result, a political crisis has arisen in the country with the Algerian opposition demanding that he back down from his position.
According to legal experts, there are currently three possible scenarios to resolve this crisis, two of which call for the activation of Article 102 of the Algerian Constitution, which says that if a sitting president cannot exercise his authority due to severe and chronic illness, the Speaker of the National Assembly may hold the presidency for 90 days without power, while the presidential elections are organised.
While the Algerian opposition has been calling for an activation of this article following the deterioration of Bouteflika’s health after a stroke in 2013, the Algerian Government has not implemented this act.
The second case in which article 102 can be used is if Bouteflika resigns from his position, allowing the Speaker of the National Assembly to hold the position until elections take place. While this resolution is also accepted by the opposition, leaked sources close to Bouteflika stated that he will not resort to this option and will continue his mandate until the last day.
The third scenario sees that Bouteflika extends his term by one year, during which a national assembly will be held before the elections.
Immediately after this proposal was put out by Bouteflika, citizens called for a protest to take place to denounce Bouteflika’s stubbornness in stepping down.
While no announcement has been made regarding what will take place next, legal experts have said that if Bouteflika leaves the presidency on the date that his mandate ends, which lies on the 28th of April, and no other action is taken, the seat of the president will remain empty, leading to a constitutional crisis, as this has not been addressed in the constitution and there are no precedent cases.