First Published: 2012-05-01


Bouteflika urges youth, women to vote in May 10 poll


Algerian President says Algeria is counting on its youth to follow project of building, protecting homeland, people.


Middle East Online

"Algeria is on the edge of a critical stage in its history"

ALGIERS - Algeria's president Monday called on youth and women to vote in next week's elections, seen as a test of reforms taken by the government after Arab Spring protests swept away regimes in two neighbours.

Algeria is "on the edge of a critical stage in its history, a stage that demands its citizens mobilise to realise the objective of national renewal and to ensure the success of the next stages", said President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

"I address in particular our youth, on whom I again call to seize this opportunity to express its will and choose the people best suited to make their aspirations a reality," the president wrote in a message to the Algerian General Workers Union (UGTA).

Bouteflika said the youth was the "first to be affected by the reforms" that the veteran leader, in power since 1999, instituted last year in the wake of the Arab Spring protests that swept long-time leaders in neighbours Egypt and Tunisia.

The reforms included allowing new political parties, new seats in parliament and boosting government salaries, among others.

"We are counting on it to follow the project of building and protecting the homeland and the people," he said.

His comments came a day after protests in Algiers by youths working on fixed-term government contracts took to the streets threatening to boycott the May 10 legislative polls unless they were awared permanent jobs.

The president also called on women to come out and vote, saying it would "confirm their presence on the political stage and consolidate their participation in putting together a society of justice, tolerance and equality, as today's conditions are ripe more than ever before for their hopes to be realised".

Algeria holds elections for the 462-seat national assembly on May 10, the first since reforms were introduced in the wake of Arab Spring demonstrations sweeping the region.

The results garnered in the poll by Islamist parties -- which triumphed in post-Arab Spring polls in both Egypt and Tunisia -- will be keenly watched.


Nobel Peace Prize goes to Tunisian democracy group

UN envoy proposes Libya unity government led by Sarraj

Iran Revolutionary Guards commander killed in Syria

IS militants advance on Syria's Aleppo

Russian volunteers fighting for Assad regime

UN chief hails Tunisian Nobel Peace Prize

Israeli troops kill 4 near Gaza border as Hamas praises 'Jerusalem intifada'

US to 'refocus' failed Syrian rebel training programme

France carries out second wave of strikes on IS targets in Syria

Jew stabs four Arabs in southern Israel

At least 13 killed in Yemen wedding bombing

Three more stabbing attacks as Palestine-Israel violence continues

Violence in Jerusalem continues

Turkey gives EU's migrant plan offer lukewarm reception

Erdogan uses nuclear, gas deals to pressure Russia over Syria

HRW urges statement from West over imprisoned Bahrain dissidents

EU aim to have migrant 'hotspots' ready by end of November ‘unrealistic’

Israeli PM bars ministers from Al-Aqsa compound

US has not yet made decision on Syria no-fly zone

After nuclear deal, Iran takes central role to end Syria war

Escape or temporary move: Erdogan son settles in Italy

ISIS attack complicates task for Arab coalition in Yemen

Syria army launches broad ground operation in Hama province

Israel-Palestinian unrest at risk of turning into religious war

Number of confirmed cholera cases rises to 1,200 in Iraq

Russia ‘ready’ to establish contacts with Free Syrian Army

Turkey arrests six people over 'minting coins for ISIS’

US insists no military cooperation with Russia in Syria conflict

Russia warships fire cruise missiles to back Syria army operation

New violence rocks Israel, West Bank

Mortar attack wounds Lebanon soldiers near border with Syria

Iraq forces recapture several areas around Ramadi

Saleh’s party ‘ready’ for UN-brokered Yemen peace

Erdogan’s vision of Syria’s future torn up by Putin

IS bombings will not deter Yemen govt from staying in Aden

EU to ease Turkey migrant burden on conditions

EU kicks off military operation against ‘mafia of the sea’

Russia air strikes targeting Chechen jihadists in Syria

Russia examining US proposals to coordinate Syria strikes

Russia hints at willingness on Syria 'deconfliction' with US

France may strip five terrorists of nationality

Israel demolition policy: Collective punishment in violation of international law

Violence in Yemen may trigger world's next great refugee crisis

EU to 'step up' work on resettlement of refugees from Turkey

Tunisia dismantles three ISIS recruitment cells