Algerians are avoiding the polls again

Algerians are avoiding the polls again

The early Algerian legislative elections, the vote rejected by the Hirak protest movement and part of the opposition, on Saturday 12 June saw a strong abstention.

This is the first legislature since the unprecedented peaceful popular uprising, which was born on February 22, 2019 from the rejection of a fifth term for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, which prompted after nearly two months to resign after 20 years of rule.

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The main issue, the national turnout rate was only 30.20%, the lowest score in at least 20 years in legislative elections, according to the head of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mohamed Al-Sharafi.

For comparison, it reached 35.70% during the last legislative elections in 2017 (42.90% in 2012). The turnout is even low compared to the 2019 presidential election, which saw Abdelmadjid Tebboune elected with only 40% of the vote, a record abstention for such an election.

But whatever happens, the force will live with it. “For me, turnout does not matter. What matters to me is that those who vote for them have enough legitimacy”President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said.

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Clashes and arrests

Polling took place generally quietly in Algiers, where voters were counted with the fingers of one hand, and in the provinces, with the exception of Kabylie, a rebellious region where participation was nearly zero in previous elections.

Algerians marched in a droplet convoy at the polling booths, journalists from Agence France-Presse (AFP) immediately reported.

“I have never voted and this time the same thing. I don’t think things will be able to change”said Fatiha, a 50-year-old merchant.

In the Kabylie region (northeast), nearly all polling stations have closed in Bejaia and Tizi Ouzou, the most populous cities in the Berber-speaking region, according to the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights and the National Committee for the Liberation of Prisoners. (CNLD). Clashes broke out in several municipalities in Kabylie, with ballot boxes being looted, and police making dozens of arrests, according to LADDH and CNLD.

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The National Center for Democracy also reported arrests in Algiers and in the neighboring city of Boumerdes.

A well-known trend on Sunday

Before the elections, the movement that calls in vain for a radical change “System” Governance in place since independence (1962), denounced A ‘election farce’ And the ‘reckless rush’ of the plan. The secular and leftist opposition boycotted the vote.

The color of the next rally should appear on Sunday but official results cannot be announced before 96 hours, the head of the Independent National Election Agency has specified.

About 24 million Algerians were invited to elect 407 deputies to the National People’s Congress for a five-year term. They had to choose from 2,288 lists, over 1,200 of which were shown as على “independent”. This is the first time that such a large number of independents have come forward against competitors backed by parties that have largely been discredited and blamed for the crisis in the country.

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The world with AFP

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