Algeria: Amid a Political Transition, the Government Puts Its Foot Down

Aug 2, 2019 | 21:01 GMT

Algeria's opposition is finding just how far it can push "le pouvoir" (the power) that calls the country's shots. This week, the interim government and army chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah rejected the preconditions from a six-member opposition panel as part of a dialogue process to chart Algiers' path toward elections and beyond -- namely, the release of prisoners of conscience and the lifting of extra security measures around the capital. On Aug. 1, the panel, which is headed by a former president of Parliament's lower house, Karim Younes, huddled to take stock of the government's attitude and decide how to move forward. Expressing their disappointment at the authorities' refusal to negotiate, two prominent members of the panel resigned (Younes would have joined them, but his colleagues in the delegation persuaded him to stay), although the body did invite new members to join it....

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