ALGERIA: July elections called off

The body which oversees elections in Algeria says it is not possible to hold presidential elections as planned on 4 July. A statement from the constitutional council said it was up to the president to name a new date for the vote. Algeria has seen months of anti-government protests. Long-time President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in April but demonstrators are pushing for greater change in the country’s ruling elite. Bouteflika was replaced by Abdelkader Bensalah as interim president but many view him as being too close to the former leader who was widely seen as a front for a group of businessmen, politicians and military officials believed to hold real power in the country. In its statement, read on state television, the constitutional council cited a lack of candidates as the reason for scrapping the scheduled vote. Just two people had registered when protesters demanded the poll be cancelled, fearing it would only prolong the current administration.

This edited article was first published by the BBC