Politics & Economics

Do Algerians Support Or Oppose The Presidential Elections?

North Africa

Presidential elections are set to take place in Algeria on 12 December. Algerians express their reasons for either supporting or opposing the elections.

In the lead up to the presidential elections in Algeria on 12 December, Algerians continue to voice their opinions regarding the elections. The majority of protesters on the streets in Algeria, as well as among the diaspora in France, have voiced their opposition to the elections on the basis that they are simply preserving and prolonging the political status quo in the country.

“We are here to show our rejection of this election. It is our way of voting, and we consider it a party whose results are known in advance. Last week and in all major Algerian cities, we have seen hundreds of thousands of demonstrators rejecting these elections”, stated Salim, an Algerian activist participating in a protest in France.

The five candidates who were nominated by the electoral authority a number of weeks ago are all known to have had positions in and links to the previous governments under the leadership of the former president, Abduleziz Bouteflika, who was forced to resign in April following weeks of protests.

“They are five candidates from the old regime. The problem is that they are like Bouteflika’s sons and some of them are over 75 years old”, expressed another lady in the same protest.

Voter turnout is expected to be low in Algeria despite the establishment’s efforts to convince voters to go to the polls on 12 December. Only a small number of Algerian citizens have expressed support for the elections, mainly from the General Union Of Algerian Workers (UGTA), linked to the FLN.

The transitional authorities have put several previously prominent political figures on trial, following which prison sentences have been made. This has been done as part of an effort to put the establishment in a good light, to show that they were sincere in tackling corruption in the country. However, activists and protesters see these efforts as a facade, which only aims to preserve the authoritarian political culture that existed from the Bouteflika era.