Constitutional reforms set to make Bouteflika era the longest Draft law introduces presidential term limits

ALGIERS, Algeria (AA) – Algeria’s recent constitutional amendment project has included a draft law that introduces presidential term limits and prevents changing this measure in the future.

Currently, there are no presidential term limits in the country, which makes the current tenure of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has ruled the country since 1999, the longest in Algerian history.

According to Article 74 of the draft project, which was revealed by the presidency this week, “the term in office is five years and after that the president can be reelected for only one more term.”

Article 178 of the draft law states that “any constitutional amendment in the future should not include the matter of reelecting the president for more than two terms.”

These amendments are set to abolish an article drawn up in 2008 that states that “the duration of the presidential term is five years and the president has the right to be reelected for an open number of terms.”

In 2008, Bouteflika had amended the country’s constitution, which allowed him to run for a third term in 2009 and a fourth term in 2014.

Prior to that, the presidential period was specified to two terms.

Pro-government parties have argued that not setting term limits would allow Bouteflika to complete his reform policies, particularly in the economic field. But this has also closed the way to a democratic process, prompting the new measure.

At the beginning of his fourth term in 2014, Bouteflika became the president who stayed the longest in power since the country’s independence in 1962, as well as being the only head of state who completed his term in power, unlike his predecessors who either were dismissed, died, were assassinated or voluntarily left office.

Bouteflika, 78, suffered a stroke in 2013, which made him lose the ability to move. He, however, has continued to serve as president following his reelection in 2014.

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