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35% voted in Algeria elections

Voters cast their ballot at a polling station in Algiers, Algeria on May 4, 2017 [Bechir Ramzy/Anadolu Agency]
Voters cast their ballot at a polling station in Algiers, Algeria on May 4, 2017 [Bechir Ramzy/Anadolu Agency]

The participation rate in last week’s legislative elections has once again been reduced by the Algerian Constitutional Council to a rate of 35.37 per cent instead of the initial 37.09 per cent announced by the interior ministry last week.

The low number of voter turnout means the National People’s Assembly (NPA) of the 4 May elections is the worst elected in the history of multiparty elections. The result is as low as the legislative elections in 2007 which was credited with a participation rate of 35.65 per cent.

Read: How the empty ballot boxes echo Algeria’s hollow hope

In the weeks leading up to the elections there were calls for a mass boycott of the election with the hashtag #mansotich (a play on words which essentially means “I will not vote”) trending. The calls were made as many had little faith in the ballot box aligning their affairs and believed the outcome of the vote had already been decided.

The results also confirmed the regression of the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN), which won with 164 seats, followed by the National Democratic Rally (RND) with 100 seats. The Islamic Alliance retains the 33 seats originally announced.

The elections were also marred by fraud with 385 irregularities brought forward to the independent electoral committee, the first of its kind in the Algerian election process.

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