Two months of consultations about how to amend Algeria's constitution have been completed, paving the way for this oil-rich country to implement reforms aimed at heading off the wave of pro-democracy unrest sweeping North Africa.
But two key opposition parties boycotted the process as a sham and have predicted that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has run Algeria for 12 years, will not fulfill his promise to approve meaningful changes in a new constitution, including laws governing politics.
Pro-democracy uprisings have transformed the Arab world, from Morocco to Yemen, sending longtime leaders scrambling to come up with reforms to appease their restive populations. On April 16, Bouteflika promised a new constitution and electoral laws.
For two months, a committee of three led by the head of the senate met with political parties and civil society groups to gather their recommendations for how to change the constitution.