In recent weeks, amid a political crisis in Algeria and the approach of the presidential election of December 12, the National People's Army (ANP) is targeted by critics attributing political ambitions. On Sunday, October 13, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaïd Salah, ANP Chief of Staff and Deputy Minister of National Defense, presented to the Cabinet a bill banning any military personnel admitted to the retirement of being a candidate for an election or to engage in any political activity for five years, says an official statement relayed by the Algerian Press Service (APS).
After recalling that the law in force "imposes, in Article 45, on the soldier, after having been released to civilian life, certain obligations of professional secrecy of reserve and restraint", the head of the PNA explained that " the military status paid into the PNA reserve, in a position of availability, remains incompatible with any political activity or public elective function ".
In this sense, General Gaïd Salah explained that "the exercise of a partisan political activity or the candidacy for a public elective function are both translated by free declarations and debates likely to attack the duty of reserve as set out in the statute of the military reservists, that the obligation to preserve the secrets of which the candidate had knowledge within the framework or during the exercise of its activities within the military institution.
For all these reasons, the Chief of Staff of the ANP stated that "it is in this respect that it is proposed in strict compliance with the law (…)" to prohibit, "for a period of five years, to the military member who has definitively ceased his activity within the ranks of the ANP, to exercise a partisan activity or to stand for election to a public office ".
"The army has no political ambitions"
Accused by detractors of wanting to seize power, army general Ahmed Gaïd Salah, previously said via a statement from the Department of National Defense have "no political ambition."
Speaking during a speech in the 4th military region in southeastern Algeria, the head of the Algerian army said he had no plans behind his insistence on defending the organization of the election. presidential.
He added: "I have made a personal commitment on many occasions (…) to support the Algerian people, in a rational, sincere and frank manner, in their peaceful and mature demonstrations, as well as the efforts of the institutions of the State. and the justice system, "he said.
"And let everyone know (…) that we have no political ambition apart from serving our country in accordance with our constitutional missions".
Moreover, in the editorial of the monthly magazine El Djeich (The Army in Arabic) in September, the Algerian army says that the era when power designates the Presidents of the Republic is over.
Finally, following the commitment made by the army to accompany the popular movement of the 22nd of February to the satisfaction of all its demands, El Djeich writes that:
"The era of dictates and the making of the Presidents is definitely over, as stated by Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaïd Salah, Chief of Staff of the National People's Army (ANP)".