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Algerian Lawmakers Pass Constitutional Reforms

  • VOA News

Algeria's Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal (C) applauds after lawmakers voted for the constitutional reforms in Algiers, Algeria, Feb. 7, 2016.

Algeria's Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal (C) applauds after lawmakers voted for the constitutional reforms in Algiers, Algeria, Feb. 7, 2016.

Algeria has adopted a new package of constitutional reforms that include limiting presidents to two terms and recognizing the language used by the Berbers as an official language of the North African country.

Parliament approved the reforms Sunday with 499 lawmakers voting in favor, two voting against and 16 abstaining. Some lawmakers boycotted the vote.

The changes reverse a 2008 reform that allowed 78-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to run for two additional terms.

The amendments also require the president to nominate a prime minister from the largest party in parliament.

The package of new reforms also calls for the creation of an independent electoral commission.

Opposition parties say the revisions contain some positives, but they lack real political reforms to lessen the influence of Bouteflika's ruling FLN party and the military.

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