World Algerians called to vote on the background of political and economic crisis
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Algeria-Elections: Algerians called to vote on the background of political and economic crisis
by Lamine Chikhi and Hamid Ould Ahmed
Algiers (Reuters) - The polling stations opened Saturday in Algeria for legislative elections whose power hopes that they will turn the two-year page of protest, but which risk To be largely ignored by the population on the background of the boycott within the hirak.
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune called Algerians to vote in mass but the campaign has little enthusiastic in a country where many inhabitants are convinced that true power is in the hands of the military and a sclerotic political elite .
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"We hope that the next parliament will be a force for the change that the majority claims," says Ali Djemai, a 33-year-old teacher, waiting with four other people a few minutes before the opening of a polling station installed in a Primary school located near the offices of the Prime Minister, Abdelaziz Djerad, in the center of Algiers.
In a cafe not far from there, Djamel Badir says that he will not vote, convinced that these elections will not change anything. "Our Parliament has no power," says this employee of the post of 42 years.
Originally planned in 2022, the purpose of this election is to elect the 407 deputies of the National People's People's Celebration for five years.
The previous polls, the 2019 presidential election and last November constitutional referendum, were marked by a strong abstention (40% of participation in the presidential election), while the power set up after the fall of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika Two years ago strives to definitively muzzle the protest movement of the hirak.
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The last weeks have been marked by increased repression, with the arrest of several hundred people and the prohibition of the steps of the Hirak.
In addition to political agitation, these legislative elections take place against the deep economic crisis, aggravated by the Pandemic of Covid-19: public finances are exsangues, including a drop of 80% of foreign currency reserves since 2013 and a Decline of energy revenues, mainly petroleum, in recent years.
Faced with the parties of the Bouteflika era and the plethora of officially independent candidates, moderate Islamists believe in their chances of being in good position in the future National People's Assembly.
The polling stations must close at 7:00 pm GMT and the results will be known on Sunday.
(French version Sophie Louet and Bertrand Boucey)
Why Ethiopia’s elections should be postponed .
The country is not currently in a position to hold free, fair and credible elections.The melange of crises facing the country – burgeoning armed uprisings and grinding wars in the Tigray, Oromia, and Benishangul-Gumuz regions; bitter disagreements over the future direction of the country; spiralling ethnic conflict; widespread atrocities committed by Ethiopian and Eritrean troops in Tigray and Oromia; intensifying border disputes with Sudan; escalating tensions with Egypt over the GERD; an economy in free fall with unsustainable public finances; and widespread repression and human rights abuses – make a free and fair election virtually impossible.