President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has repeatedly pledged to introduce political and economic reforms and to meet demands raised in demonstrations that toppled the country's longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika in April 2019.

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 9, 2020.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 9, 2020. (Reuters)

Algeria has set November 1 as a date for a referendum on a new constitution after months-long protests demanding reforms.

After "consultations with the parties concerned, it was decided to set the date of 1 November 2020 for the holding of the referendum on the draft revision of the Constitution", the presidency said.

That date also marks the anniversary of the start of Algeria's 1954-1962 war for independence from France.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune came to power in a presidential election last December after an unprecedented months-long protest movement that had forced longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign the previous April.

READ MORE: As Algerians mark independence, the revolutionary spirit lives on

Separation and balance of powers

Tebboune, formerly a prime minister under Bouteflika, has since taking office sought a constitutional referendum, ostensibly as an answer to the popular protest movement.

A draft released earlier this year showed that the new constitution would give the prime minister and parliament more powers to govern the North African country of 45 million people.

He has said a new constitution would reduce the authority of the president and "guarantee the separation and balance of powers".

Demonstrators rejected his call for dialogue, insisting on demands for deeper reforms in the North African country.

The government has said the draft, which kept presidential terms limited to two mandates, would be submitted to parliament for debate and approval before a referendum.

The referendum date was announced after Tebboune's meeting with the head of the election authority Mohamed Chorfi earlier on Monday, the presidency said in a statement.

READ MORE: Algerians mark year of protests, demand more reforms

Mass protests broke out in February last year to reject Bouteflika's plan to seek a fifth term after 20 years in power, and demand the departure of the old guard as well as the prosecution of people involved in corruption.

Several senior officials, including two former prime ministers, several ministers and prominent businessmen, have been jailed since then over corruption charges.

The government banned demonstrations in March this year as part of measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

READ MORE: Bouteflika’s bid for fifth term risks Algeria’s future

Source: TRTWorld and agencies