Among the items that were dropped from the draft law on amending the constitution, the proposal to create the post of a vice president of the republic, which left a great debate in political and media circles, since the unveiling of the draft constitution by the Committee of Experts.
This position was associated with the second half of the rule of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, which was characterized by his illness and his inability to perform his constitutional duties, and this issue was raised sharply in the last term, in which he became incapacitated and could only move through a wheelchair with the help of another person.
Followers attributed the proposal to that position at the time, to igniting the political arena with controversy, with the health status of the former president, and accusations were sharply directed at the brother of the president and his special advisor, namely Said Bouteflika, as the latter was the true and actual leader of the state’s levers, and he was accused of “hijacking” the presidential seal and taking decisions outside the constitution.
In the midst of this came the description of “unconstitutional forces”, in the words of politician Ali Benflis, and then was repeated strongly during the “popular Hirak movement”.
The dropping of the article related to the creation of the position of vice president did not constitute an event, nor did it leave any questions, compared to some of the articles that were kept in the draft, such as how to choose the Prime Minister based on the results of the legislative elections, and to place Tamazight in a deaf article that cannot be reviewed, as well as Constitutionalizing the participation of the ANP military establishment in peace missions outside the borders of the country.
What are the reasons for the retreat from creating the position of Vice President, and what are the backgrounds for that?
President of the Constitutional Council, Kamal Feniche, and from his position as an official at the head of the highest body competent to monitor the constitutionality of laws and institutions, attributed the scrapping of the position of first deputy judge to a set of data, on top of which comes the legitimacy and credibility of the person who holds this position vis-à-vis the people as the master of all entitlements.
According to Mr. Feniche, who was guest on Monday on the Algerian Radio Forum, which is broadcast on Channel One, the vice president “must be chosen by the people, in presidential elections alongside the president,” while “the proposal contained in the draft was put forward on the basis of appointment.”
This deprives credibility of the vice-president’s position and sets problems in the relations between the representatives of the people, including parliamentarians and the appointed vice president, “which means in this case that a person may become the president of the country, and he did not pass through the ballot box according to the requirements of democratic norms.
It is known that President Tebboune did not appoint anyone as his deputy in the presidential elections that took place in December 2019, because the current constitution does not stipulate the position of vice president, in the current political system in Algeria, and unlike previous constitutions, it did not stipulate this high position.