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Low voter turnout expected for Algerian legislative elections


Low voter turnout expected for Algerian legislative elections

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Photo: Atlantic Council

Algeria will hold early legislative elections today after President Abdelmadjid Tebboune dissolved the lower legislative assembly in February.

Candidate campaigns ended June 9 in preparation for today’s vote. The snap elections are part of a larger political reform movement under Tebboune’s rule. He took power in 2019 after the Hirak protest movement ousted longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Tebboune’s dissolution of the lower assembly, ruled by Bouteflika supporters, was intended to demonstrate his dedication to end government corruption. Opposition groups argue these reforms are merely surface changes and refuse to participate today, with many independent and Islamist candidates running instead.

Voter turnout is expected to be low due to opposition boycotts and the population’s apathy towards the government. Pro-government parties are expected to increase their share of seats, due to fears of radical Islamists and unclear independent platforms. However, this will do almost nothing to restore Algeria’s economy and political institutions. Hirak’s unmoving demands for complete government dissolution prevents a dialogue to bring effective reforms. Unable to properly route corruption and restore the population’s faith in its institutions, the parliament will be powerless to enact the economic reforms necessary to increase employment and living standards.

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