Algeria’s army chief renews push for presidential election

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Algerian protesters gather during an anti-government demonstration in the centre of the capital Algiers, Algeria, Friday, June 14, 2019. Algeria is in the midst of an unprecedented anti-corruption crusade, sparked by a people’s revolt in February and prompting many lawmakers to be questioned over allegations, and former Algerian prime minister Abdelmalek Sellal jailed Thursday in an anti-corruption sweep.(AP Photo/Fateh Guidoum)

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria’s powerful army chief is stressing the need for political dialogue that would lead to a presidential election, as a people’s revolt for democracy remains at an impasse with the government.

Ahmed Gaid Salah also said on Monday that a crackdown on “the scourge of corruption” since President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in early April would spare none of those who benefited at the expense of Algerian citizens.

The remarks Gaid Salah made in a speech were his first public comments in three weeks. He helped pressure Bouteflika to step down, but angered pro-democracy protesters afterward by supporting a since-canceled presidential election that had been set for July 4.

Two former prime ministers, several once-powerful generals and the ex-president’s brother are the people already jailed on suspicion of corruption.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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