After a month-long national debate in which citizens were allowed their first public say in a decade on the way their country should be run, the people of Algeria approved a new constitutional charter in a referendum held on Sunday (27 June).
GV Martyr's Memorial and flags in Algiers.
SV People queuing outside polling station. (2 shots)
SV INT President Boumedienne casting vote and shaking hands with officials.
SV People queuing at another polling station.
SV INT Man placing vote into ballot box.
GV Woman leaves polling booth and casts vote into box.
The final version of the new constitutional charter boosts the role of the sole political party in Algeria - the National Liberation Front - specifies that civilians have ultimate control over the military and hits out against the traditional exclusion of women from political and social life.
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Background: After a month-long national debate in which citizens were allowed their first public say in a decade on the way their country should be run, the people of Algeria approved a new constitutional charter in a referendum held on Sunday (27 June).
SYNOPSIS: 98.5 per cent of those who voted registered a "Yes" vote and a record turn-out of 91 per cent of the electorate went to the polls. According to Reuters, this represents a big vote of confidence in the government of President Houari Boumedienne. The charter lays down the principles and plans for creating a socialist system in Algeria.
President Boumedienne was one of nearly seven million Algerians who voted at polling stations in Algeria and consulate abroad. A new constitution, drawn up on the basis of the charter, will be put to the vote later this year and the referendum also paves the way for elections for a National Assembly and President of the Republic. During the past decade Algerian government has been by decree - the constitution was suspended in 1965 when President Boumedienne came to power in a coup d'etat. Since then Algeria has presented an uncompromising socialist face to the world, but the pre-referendum debate highlighted the more conservative Arab and Islamic aspects of the country.
In response to this, the charter was revised to proclaim Islam as the state religion.