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Algeria’s presidential election marred by opposition protests, boycott efforts


Algeria’s presidential election marred by opposition protests, boycott efforts

algeria presidential election
Photo: Ryad Karmi/AFP

Algeria will hold a presidential election today amid widespread protests advocating for a boycott of the polls.

Algeria’s aging oligarchy has been in crisis since hundreds of thousands of protestors took to the streets and forced the resignation of longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in April. The leaderless anti-government movement has since continued to demand an end to the outsized influence of a small, elite group of military officers and businessmen who are accused of corruption and the mismanagement of Algeria’s economy.

All five presidential candidates vying for election today have ties to Bouteflika’s government—two of them served as prime minister and two others had top government posts. The ruling elite hopes the election will settle the political crisis.

Regardless of who wins, the new president will have little legitimacy in the eyes of the pro-democracy activists. As such, expect protests to continue as discontented Algerians demand the election of a constitutional assembly to reform the governing system, a request the ruling elite are unlikely to accept.

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