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Ex-Algerian Justice Minister Mohamed Chorfi to head election monitoring authority

PARIS, France – Algerian ex-justice minister has been appointed to head the country’s independent election monitoring authority. 

Mohamed Chorfi, the former Algerian Justice Minister, was unanimously selected on Sunday by the head of the country’s Independent Election Monitoring Authority, local media reported.

Chorfi was selected during a meeting between the coordinator of the Dialogue and Mediation Panel, Karim Younes, and 50 members of the Independent Election Monitoring Authority, according to the state-run ENTV channel.

Mohamed Chorfi once served as justice minister of Algeria twice, in 2002 and in 2013.

In 2013, he was fired by former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, a few months after the issuance of an international arrest warrant against former Energy Minister Chakib Khelil, over a corruption probe within the state-run energy giant Sonatrach.

Interim President Abdelkader Bensalah, earlier on Sunday, approved the amended laws relating to the electoral system, and to the Independent Election Monitoring Authority, the Presidency said in a statement. Both texts were already adopted on Friday by the lower and upper houses of the country’s Parliament.

Since February 22, 2019, Algeria had been rocked by wide-scale protest movements that forced former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign on April 2, 2019.

The demonstrators are now calling for the resignation of interim president Abdelkader Bensalah and the cabinet led by Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui under the pretext that they belong to the regime of the ousted president.

Meanwhile, the Algerian army has rejected the demand. In the meantime, the dialogue and mediation panel is working to convince different political actors and civil society activists to endorse the election process.

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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.

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