LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS IN ALGERIA: A WEAK PARTICIPATION RATE AND RESULTS WILL NOT CHANGE THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE


06/05/2017




Adel Tayari -TDO – (TUNISIA) More than 23 million Algerian voters went to the polls on Thursday (May 4th) to select 462 deputies in the National People's Assembly, amid fears of a major reluctance after a faint election campaign. The results are expected to be announced on Friday (May 5th) by the interior minister, who is in charge of managing the electoral process. The elections were held under tight security, with 45,000 police officers deployed in cities and the national gendarmerie in rural areas to secure more than 53,000 polling stations.  And some 1 million Algerians living abroad began voting on Saturday, Sunday 29 and 30 April 2017, and Thursday (May 4th).

In this election, which are the country's first multi-party parliamentary elections since the amendment of the 2016 constitution, 50 political parties took part in 11334 candidates in 938 electoral lists, including 1,125 free candidates in 98 free lists.  The three-week campaign did not get enthusiastic among the voters, except for the rallies, which were dominated by the heads of major parties. And this election is not expected to change the balance of power in the first chamber of parliament.As is known, Algeria suffers from a major economic crisis after its financial resources have shrunk due to the collapse of oil prices. Because people do not trust any change after the election result, a very low participation rate is expected. In 2012 elections registered a participation rate of 43.14 per cent, while in 2007 it was only 35.65 per cent. Some observers say that the figures are exaggerated.

Although the government organized a large campaign to call for the vote, she asked imams in mosques to urge worshipers to participate heavily. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika also intervened in a letter to the Algerians, followed by the Minister of Communications on Saturday (April 29th), in which he appealed to the Algerians to participate in the elections because they "contribute to the stability of the country.”.Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sallal has also done his rounds throughout the country and has reached the point of calling on women to beat their husbands if they do not get up early Thursday to vote, but the participation rate is weak and does not exceed 30 percent at best.


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