9 July 2019
Senator Djamel Ould Abbes(picture above), Algerian Senator who was close to former President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was placed in pretrial detention on accusations of corruption. He was formerly secretary-general of the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN). Before being appointed as the FLN secretary-general, he was minister of health between 2010 and 2012 and then he became a senator at the Council of the Nation. He was vice president of the senate. He waived his parliamentary immunity last month following rising pressure against the FLN.
He was charged with squandering of public funds, abuse of power, violation of public procurement procedures to sign contracts illegally and falsification of public documents.
Some former government senior officials, including two former prime ministers, Abdelmalek Sellal and Ahmed Ouyahia, were already in custody.
Anti-corruption campaign and popular protest over Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fifth consecutive term, despite having suffered a debilitating stroke in 2013, caused these arrests. Bouteflika resigned on 3 April 2019 after nationwide protests demanding his resignation.
Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah vowed to prosecute government officials and associates of the former president suspected of corruption, in an effort to appease demonstrators.
Presidential election set for July 4 was postponed after the only two little known potential runners had their candidacies rejected. Opposition parties and demonstrators have asked for a free and fair presidential election in 6-months’ time.
Aljazeera and Xinhua reported.