ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria’s lower house of parliament on Thursday approved a revision of the North African nation’s constitution aimed at building a “new Algeria,” a promise of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune expected to go before the nation in a Nov. 1 referendum.
The 320 lawmakers present voted for the constitutional changes. But 140 others were absent, many of them opposed to the move, notably from parties of the “Democratic Alternative” group.
Opponents, along with the pro-democracy protest movement known as Hirak, want to upend the entire system with a transition government to clean house after two decades of power by then-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, forced out by protests last year.
Opponents claim the planned constitutional revision doesn’t go far enough, despite the rhetoric. Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad said during debate that the revision is aimed at creating a “new Algeria, far from the abuses of power and authoritarian excesses” of the past.