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The Algerian legislative elections: the results

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The North Africa Journal – May 7, 2017:  The Algerian ministry of interior says voter participation was 38.25% on 4 May, down 6% compared to the 2012 legislative elections. Out of 23,251,503 registered voters, only 8,528,355 of them voted.  A number of civil society organizations from many provinces indicated that the low voter turnout is due to the “poor behavior of MPs in previous mandates”, which they claim “only represented themselves, despite a difficult socio-economic situation in the country, hence shedding a bad light on the parliament.” The ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) lost the absolute majority by obtaining 164 seats, hence losing 57 seats. The other ruling party, the National Democratic Rally (RND), however, won 97 seats, up 27 seats compared to 2017. The Islamist party MSP lost 14 seats, after only obtaining 33. Opposition group Social Forces Front has also lost seven seats.

The high instance for the monitoring of elections reported a total of 34 suspected fraud cases and disruptions nationwide. In Constantine, for instance, a security guard was caught red-handed disposing of electoral IDs. In Ali Mendjeli, in the same province, the Socialist Forces Front (FFS) reported that the head of a polling station tempered with the RND electoral lists. In Sidi Bel-Abbes, polling was suspended after FLN militants were seen stuffing ballots by RND and FFS representatives in the province. Militants and sympathizers of the National Democratic Rally in the province of Biskra have rejected the outcome of the election in the municipalities of Ras el-Miaad, Bir Naam and Besbes in a protest outside the provincial headquarters. The protesters claimed that the RND won three seats locally, as opposed to two. The police intervened and arrested them. In Tamanrasset, the coordinator of the higher instance of election monitoring (HIISE) reported that 300 citizens who cast their vote were not registered in electoral lists. The Culture and Democracy Rally (RCD) denounced the ransacking of all ballots in the locality of Voumajbar, In Bouira’s municipality of M’Chedellah. The RCD claims that the vandals may have been “hired” by “rival parties” to disadvantage the opposition.  In France, consular officials were accused of fraud and tempering with voter lists in favor of the FLN.

A native of Algiers, Algeria, Hakim comes to us via MEA Risk advisory services, where he works are a Vice President in charge of tracking and analyzing the Maghreb and Sahel regions. Hakim is a senior consultant for many major corporations and brings a wealth of expertise on North Africa and the Sahel. He can be reached at journal@north-africa.com.