Algeria: Algeria Votes Amid Expected Low Turnout

Al Jazeera
Publication Country 
Publication Date 
Thu, 2017-05-04

“Algerian voters head to the polls on Thursday to elect a new parliament amid fears of voter apathy and opposition calls for a boycott. The polls will be the first since Algerian politicians amended the constitutional law, giving more power to the legislature. More than 12,000 candidates are competing for the 462 seats of the People's National Assembly (APN). Up to 23 million voters are registered to elect members of the parliament's lower house for a five-year term. The National Liberation Front (FLN), that has dominated the country's political scene since Algeria gained independence from France in 1962, and its coalition ally the Rally for National Democracy (RND), led by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's senior adviser Ahmed Ouyahia, have a large majority of seats in the two houses. It is most likely that they will retain it. Opposition parties, which mostly boycotted the 2014 presidential election, have split over whether or not to run for this year's election. For the past month, Algiers' old buildings have been plastered with larger than life posters showing men and women holding a voting card. Except for those giant billboards, however, there are little to no signs on the streets that Algeria is gearing up for the elections.”