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Algerian army chief says he has no political ambitions: Ennahar TV

Published: Updated:

Algeria’s army chief of staff said on Wednesday that he had no political ambitions, amid accusations from activists that he was trying to duplicate the Egyptian model in Algeria.

“Everybody should know that we have no political ambitions,” Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah was quoted as saying by Ennahar TV.

He added that the national army thwarted what he called a “conspiracy.”

The army chief on Monday urged demonstrators to accept presidential polls set for July 4 to elect a successor to ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Holding a presidential election could help (Algeria) avoid falling into the trap of a constitutional void, with its accompanying dangers and unwelcome consequences,” General Ahmed Gaed Salah said in a speech, the text of which was seen by AFP.

Emphasizing “the need to accelerate the establishment of an independent body to organise and oversee the elections,” he said holding the poll would “stop those who are trying to prolong this crisis.”

The army, a key powerbroker, has insisted the July 4 poll must go ahead and any change to the constitution would be up to a future president.