Algeria: Algerians will head to the polls on December 12, the country’s interim president said, as weekly protests have continued in the north African country for more than six months.
Abdelkader Bensalah made the announcement during a televised speech on Sunday, calling on Algerians to make December 12 “an historic day to make the dreams of our people concrete”.
Weekly mass demonstrations forced veteran President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign in April, leaving Algeria in constitutional limbo and facing a standoff between protesters and the army-backed government.
“Elections are the only democratic solution to the crisis,” Bensalah said.
The authorities had cancelled an election previously planned for July 4, citing a lack of candidates, amid mass protests demanding the departure of the rest of the old guard including Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui.
But army chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah has repeatedly called for an election as soon as possible, despite the opposition and protesters rejecting a vote.
Earlier on Sunday, authorities named an independent election authority to organise the vote to replace the Ministry of Interior, which has been in charge of elections over the past years.