The Algerian Defence Ministry stated on Monday that military personnel, who will vote during the upcoming presidential elections outside the barracks, are free to choose their candidates according to their convictions.
This came in a statement issued by the ministry, of which the Anadolu Agency obtained a copy.
According to the statement, “the military, dressed as civilians, will perform their right and duty to vote directly like all citizens at the level of regular voting offices across the country.”
He added: “While those who are unable to vote directly, because of the tasks entrusted to them, will perform their electoral duty by proxy (i.e. by their families will vote for them).”
The statement indicated that “the military personnel’ freedom to choose a candidate who is compatible with their convictions is reserved during these free elections.”
A few days ago, Algerian Chief of Staff, Ahmed Gaied Salah, stated that the army would not support any candidate and that the Algerian people should choose the most appropriate personality to lead the country.
In 2004, Algeria abolished military voting in the barracks. Thus, the current election law provides for the military personnel to vote by themselves in their place of residence or by issuing the power of attorneys for their families to vote in their place, if they are absent.
There are no official statistics of members of the Algerian armed forces. However, competent international reports confirm that the various branches of the Algerian army encompass more than 500.000 elements, in addition to about 200.000 who belong to the Gendarmerie Nationale, which is a rural police force, affiliated to the Ministry of Defence.
Members of the armed forces are eligible to participate in the elections. This means that they are in the range of 700,000 voters out of 24.5 million registered citizens in the voters’ lists.