Africa 

Algerian magistrates to boycott presidential polls

Algerians continue to pile pressure on authorities to relinquish power.

On Saturday, members of the Algerian judiciary announced a boycott of the country’s presidential elections scheduled for Thursday, July 4.

“ We are with the people and for the people. The independence of justice is not only words but acts, and not only slogans and statements in international fora. Law enforcement is essential, because the law applies to the strong and weak, the rich and poor, it applies to the minister, the businessman and all the others “, said Ramzi Maamar, Deputy Prosecutor in Chelghoum El Aid, a city in Algeria.

We are with the people and for the people. The independence of justice is not only words but acts.

Human rights lawyers also expressed support to the judges for their decision.

“ I strongly support the judges: no to the pressure on the judges and no to the pressure on the judiciary. We must free the judges, and I appeal to all magistrates who are under any pressure from any source that they announce it and we will be ready to die to defend them “, said human rights lawyer and activist Salah Dabouz.

Weeks of protests by Algerians led to the resignation of 82-year old Abdelaziz Bouteflika, ending his 20 year rule in the North African nation.

One of his close associates, Abdelkader Bensalah was chosen to replace him as interim president. But this has not calmed protesters who are demanding the removal of Bensalah.

Per the constitution, elections must be held within 90 days.

AFP

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