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.

 

UN council votes to bring back full Western Sahara mission

UN rights chief calls Syrian crisis 'shameful realpolitik'

Air strike hits clinic in rebel-held Aleppo

South Sudan unveils unity government

Aleppo mourns paediatrician killed in air strike

US, Russia 'agree freeze' on two Syrian fronts

Libya unity government vows to end jihadist 'scourge'

Turkey demands 5 years jail for UK academic over 'terror propaganda'

UK pair accused of giving money to Brussels, Paris attacks suspect

Turkey says Bursa bomber linked to PKK

Kuwait steps up deportations of expat workers

Iranians vote in second round of parliamentary elections

Palestinians support, Israel opposes French peace initiative

Biden in surprise Iraq visit to support embattled government

MSF condemns strike on Aleppo hospital

Lifeline to millions in Syria 'may be broken' as violence intensifies

Turkish journalists get two years for publishing Charlie Hebdo cartoon

Greece making 'incredible effort' to tackle migration issue

Iraq shuts Al-Jazeera bureau for 'instigating violence and sectarianism'

Syria regime readies for major Aleppo offensive

Israel nuclear reactor defects spark secrecy dilemma

Suicide bomber targets Aden police chief

Death toll in Syria's Aleppo rises despite UN truce plea

Italy to introduce migrant fingerprinting at sea

UN envoy plans to hold another round of Syria peace talks

US proposes full restoration of Western Sahara mission

27 Yemeni soldiers dead in key offensive

Global press freedom drops to lowest level in 12 years

Constitutional amendment grants Jordan king more powers

Suicide bomber blows herself up in Turkey northwestern city

Austria adopts one of EU's toughest asylum laws

Netherlands warns no safety 'guarantees' for visitors to Turkey

Battered Aleppo residents ask: Where is Syria ceasefire?

Libya kidnappers release Serbian worker

Sinai bombing kills three Egypt policemen

UAE considers tough safety code after skyscraper fires

UNESCO says Palmyra retains 'authenticity' despite damage

Khamenei says US 'fomenting Iranophobia'

Russia applauds cooperation with US on Syria

Etihad Airways sees $103 million profit in 2015

Russia asks UN to list Syria rebel group as 'terrorist'

2 Palestinians shot dead at checkpoint

Turkey PM pledges draft constitution will guarantee secularism

Greece returns 49 migrants to Turkey

Nearly quarter of Iran's parliament seats at stake in election run-off