Operating Procedures of the Constitutional Council

 The procedure provided for in the abovementioned Regulation is simple for the constitutionality control and relatively complex as regards the regularity control of the national political consultations.

In both types of control, the procedure is written and the deliberations are secret. Thelatter are subject to a quorum rule pursuant to which the effective presence of at least ten (10) members is required. The deliberation is heldin camera by the majority of the members of the Council. In the event of a tie, the President or the Chairperson shall have the casting vote.

1- In the matter of constitutionality review

 The procedure is initiated by letter of referral addressed to the President of the Constitutional Council by one of the four (4) constitutional authorities empowered to do so.

 The referral letter is recorded by the SecretariatGeneral and acknowledgment of receipt is delivered.

 The investigation phase is opened by the designation, by the President of the Constitutional Council, of a rapporteur among the members. The rapporteur shall examine the file, prepare the draft opinion or draft decision and provide a copy accompanied by a report to each member. Within this framework, he may collect all information and documents related to the file and consult any expert of his choice.

 In case of absence of the President of the Constitutional Council, the Vice-President shall chairs the session.

 In case of impediment, the Vice-President shall chair over the meeting of the Council. In the case of a combination of impediment of the President and the Vice-President, the oldest member shall preside at the meeting of the Council.

 At the end of the investigation phase of the file, the president of the Council sets the date of the plenary session and convenes the members. The Constitutional Council meets in camera and deliberates by the majority of its members in the presence of at least ten of its members.

 The opinions and decisions of the Constitutional Council are motivated and issued in the national language (Arabic) within thirty days (30) after the date of referral.

 In case of emergency, and upon request of the President of the Republic, the deadline shall be shortenedto ten (10) days. When the Constitutional Council is referred toof an exception of unconstitutionality on referral from the Supreme Court or the Council of State, its decision shall be delivered within four (4) months following the referral date. This deadline might be extendedonly once for no more than four (4) months, pursuant to a reasoned decision of the Council, notified to the jurisdiction that has requested the referral.

 Once signed by the President of the Council or the chairman of the sitting and recorded by the Secretary General, who ensures the archiving and preservation, they are notified to the jurisdiction referred the matter.

 Opinions and decisions are finally forwarded to the Secretary-General of the Government for publication in the Official Journal.

2- With regard to the regularity monitoring of national political consultations.

 Like the constitutionality review, the procedure is written and secret. The Constitutional Council shall give its rulingin camerawith respect to the rule of the quorum and decides by the majority of its members. In the event of a tie, the President shall have the casting vote.

The adversarial principle is also more apparent in electoral disputes.

 a) The referendum

 The Constitutional Council examines the appeals and proclaims the final voting results.

 Every voter has the right to contest the regularity of the voting operations. He must mention his complaint on the minutes available at the polling stations. The minutes of the wilaya (department) commissions are transmitted under sealed envelopes to the Constitutional Council, which examines them and proclaims the final results at the latest within the time limits prescribed by the organic law on the electoral system.

 b) The election of the President of the Republic

 The Constitutional Council intervenes on three levels:

 ·         It validates candidacies for the election of the President of the Republic;

 ·         It rules on the appeals made to the candidates or their duly mandated representatives and proclaims the results of the election;

 ·         It controls the campaign accounts of the candidates for the election.

 b.1) Validation of candidacy

 The declaration of candidacy established under the conditions laid down in Article 87 of the Constitution and other provisions of the Organic Law on the electoral systemshall be deposited with the General Secretariat pursuant to the conditions, forms and deadlines provided for by the latter. An acknowledgment of receipt is given.

 Article 144 of the Organic Law on the electoral system states that "the withdrawal of the candidate is neither accepted nor taken into account after the validation of the candidatures by the Constitutional Council, except in case of serious impediment legally established by the Constitutional Council ..... ".

 The President of the Constitutional Council appoints one or more rapporteurs among the members to check the application files. Following this operation, the President of the Council convenes the members of the Council, which meets, examines the report in camera and decides on the validity of the candidatures.

 After checking the list of documents submitted and ensuring that each of the potential candidates actually fulfills the conditions required by the Constitution and the organic law on the electoral system, the list of candidates for the presidential election is set by decision of the Constitutional Council . It shall be notified to the interested parties, communicated to the authorities concerned and transmitted to the Secretary-General of the Government for publication in the Official Journal.

 If one of the two candidates withdraws in the second round, the electoral operation continues pursuant to Article 146 (paragraph 2) of the Constitution.

 On the other hand, when one of the two candidates dies, or is prevented in the second round of the election, the Constitutional Council declares that the electoral operations must be carried out again. In this case, the Constitutional Council extends the deadlines in order to organize new elections for no more thansixty (60) days.

 b.2) Examination of appeals and proclamation of results

 The Constitutional Council examines the appeals in accordance with the provisions of the Organic Law on the electoral system and the provisions of the Regulation setting the procedures for its functioning.

 It proclaims the results of the vote in accordance with the Organic Law on the electoral system.

 b.3) Control of campaign accounts

 The establishment of a campaign account tracing, according to their origin and their nature, all the revenue received and the expenditure incurred, pursuant to conditions and modalities set by Article 146 of the organic law 16-10 relating to the electoral system, is obligatory for any candidate to the election of the President of the Republic. Failure to comply with the provisions of Article 146 exposes the perpetrator to the penal sanctions provided for in Article 219 of the aforementioned law.

 Candidates are required to submit their campaign accounts within three (3) months of the proclamation of the final results of the vote.

 The Constitutional Council decides on the campaign account and notifies its decision to the candidates. The decision on the campaign account of the elected candidate is also published in the Official Journal.

 The decision of the Constitutional Council determines the acceptance or rejection of the campaign account. In the event of rejection, the candidate cannot claim reimbursement of the expenses incurred.

 c) The election of members of Parliament

 1. The election of members of the People's National Assembly

 The Constitutional Council proclaims the results of the vote and decides on the appeals submitted by the candidate or the political party. It controls the campaign accounts of candidates for elections to the People's National Assembly.

 1.1) Examination of appeals and proclamation of results

 The Constitutional Council decides on appeals submitted by any candidate or political party participating in the elections, pursuant to conditions and time limit set in Article 130 of the Organic Law on the electoral system. If it considers the appeal well founded, it may, under the provisions of Article 130 (2) of the aforementioned law, by reasoned decision, either annul the contested election, or reformulate the minutes of the results and declare the candidate who is regularly and definitively elected.

 1.2) Control of campaign accounts

 The Constitutional Council rules on the campaign accounts of candidates for the election of members of the People's National Assembly under the same conditions as for the President of the Republic. However, these accounts must be submitted within two months after the proclamation of the results of the vote. The accounts of elected candidates are not subject to publication in the Official Journal. They are only forwarded to the Bureau of the Assembly.

2. Election of the members of the Council of the Nation

 The Constitutional Council shall rule in camera on the appeals submitted by the candidate or by the political party participating in the election, in the forms and within the time limits provided for in Articles 130 and 131 of the Organic Law on the electoral system and the Regulationsetting the procedures for its functioning.