Algeria's army chief: Elections are the way out of current crisis


Algeria's military chief of staff on Monday rejected calls to postpone the country's presidential elections, describing them as the way to resolve the current crisis in the country.

"Holding the presidential elections will foil attempts to prolong the crisis," Gaid Salah said in a speech.

Salah warned of a constitutional vacuum if the elections were postponed and called for stepping up the formation of an independent commission to organise and supervise the vote.

Weeks of protests and pressure from the influential military forced long-time ruler Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign last month. Since then, demonstrations have called on senior Bouteflika allies to step down, including interim President Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui.

Last Friday, protesters voiced their opposition to holding the polls as scheduled while Bensalah and Bedoui are in power.

Algeria, an energy-rich North African country, was governed by Bouteflika for two decades.

The 82-year-old suffered a stroke in 2013 amid opposition claims that members of his inner circle were the de facto rulers of the country.    (dpa)

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