The opposition does not like it. Now all eyes are on Algeria’s people to see what they make of a move that has cleared the way for the country’s veteran president to remain in power.
Abdelaziz Bouteflika is approaching the end of what would have been his second and final term in office.
But the upper and lower houses of parliament have voted overwhelmingly to abolish the two-term limit, meaning the 71-year-old will be able to stand again.
His political critics have cried foul. “We are living through a disguised coup d’etat,” said Said Saadi, head of the small secular opposition party, the Rally for Culture and Democracy, which voted against the amendment.
“The 12th of November will remain a black day in history.”
Bouteflika claims he wants to strengthen the political system. But the lack of a public consultation on the change has angered his opponents. Louisa Hanoune, Secretary General of the Workers Party, called for the people to have more power.
Some analysts say the absence of a referendum may hurt the amendment’s legitimacy among a population suffering unemployment and resentful of what many regard as a corrupt political elite.