Home WORLD AFRICA Elections in Algeria: participation “below” expectations

Elections in Algeria: participation “below” expectations

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The president of the Independent Electoral Authority (ANIE), Mohamed Charfi announced a participation of 35.97% for the municipal and 34.39% for the departmental, with each time more than 8 million voters out of 23 million registered. The results are not expected for several days.

In June, three days had passed before the first provisional results.

A woman puts her ballot in the ballot box.

A woman casts her ballot in the ballot box during the Algerian local elections at a polling station in the capital Algiers, November 27, 2021.

Photo: Getty Images / RYAD KRAMDI

For the newspaper El Watan, the elections did not, despite their proximity character, not attract crowds, illustration of the fact that voters still do not trust the electoral act.

El Watan recalled that in previous local elections in 2017, attendance had exceeded 44%, with more than ten million voters out of 22 million.

THE’ANIE on Saturday rejected any comparison with the local elections organized under the era of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (1999-2019).

Mohamed Charfi.

Mohamed Charfi, President of the Independent Electoral Authority (archives).

Photo: Reuters / RAMZI BOUDINA

Its president explained that the voting methods were different and that we could only compare with the votes organized since the presidential election in December 2019, which saw the election of President Abdelmajid Tebboune, with 58% of the vote and nearly 40% participation.

For Mr. Charfi, participation in the elections made a leap forward compared to the legislative elections in June, marked by the highest abstention rate in Algerian history, with only 23% of voters.

The crowd remained weak, contrary to what everyone hoped, especially because of indifference of the population, analyzed forAFP, Toufik Bougaada, lecturer in political science at the University of Algiers.

He nevertheless pointed out that the rate is real and truly represents the electorate, despite some abuse which does not affect the general percentage. In Algeria, we have gone beyond the problem of generalized fraud, estimated the political scientist.

A man places his ballot in the ballot box.

A man casts his ballot in the Algerian local elections at a polling station in Algiers.

Photo: Getty Images / RYAD KRAMDI

According to Algerian media, the elections took place without major incident unlike previous polls.

After the November 2020 referendum and the legislative elections, the polls were a new test for President Tebboune, who promised to renew all the institutions of the Bouteflika era that he deemed plagued by fraud and dirty money.

On Saturday, after voting, Mr. Tebboune called the ballots final step in building a modern state […], economically strong as part of democracy and citizens’ freedom.

For everyday El Khabar, despite an improvement, participation remained below the level [souhaité], since local elections always arouse the interest of citizens.

Same opinion for Echorouk, who awarded the acceptable mention at the participation rate.

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