September 30, 2022

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In Algiers, legislative elections without enthusiasm

At the entrance to the famous district of Bob L. Ode, the oldest Emir Abdelgader High School in Algiers, there were no crowds at the polls, which were rejected by Hirak’s opposition movement for the early legislative elections and a partial protest.

In the capital, Algiers, the atmosphere is calm. Other than the election signs, it does not indicate that it is voting day.

Inside the school, the large courtyard of the establishment was almost deserted. The agents responsible for overseeing the poll are waiting for the voters, and very few of them are going to the polls.

Among them is 84-year-old Mokhtar Paulketra. “I voted to stand up for the country and its flag,” he says.

Of the 180 people registered at one of the school’s 27 polling stations at 2:00 pm (1:00 pm), only eight voted.

The head of the Independent National Electoral Commission (NCI), Mohamed Sorfi, said the national vote was at 1:00 pm (12:00 pm GMT), 5.65% in Algiers, and almost zero (0.47%) in Digi Ozou, Kapilia (northeast). Big city.

Leaning on a cane and covering his head with a beret, 75-year-old voter Nazareth begins: “I am coming to vote for the future of the youth, the majority in our country. We have our time and now we have to send the torch to the youth. “

“In Hirak, there are serious men who have made the whole world speak with their wisdom, and there are others who add fuel to the fire,” Septuagenarian said.

About 24 million Algerians are invited to elect 407 representatives to the National Assembly (ABN) for a five-year term. More than half of the lists are shown to be “independent,” recruiting many young people.

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“Regardless of participation”

In Algiers, where protests have been blocked for a month, there have been numerous clashes around polling stations in Capilia, where voting has been quiet.

In the region, which has traditionally been in turmoil, many polling stations have been closed, according to onlookers, and images of ballots being thrown in the street have been widely circulated on social media.

“I did not vote because I think these are not democratic elections.

“We face a serious problem: voting is not democracy for some, it is anti-democratic for others. We are swimming in contradiction,” a user on Twitter said.

At the same time, the National Committee for the Release of Prisoners (CNLT), a pro-government group, said there had been a number of arrests in Algiers, Pamar Mardes, Pejana and DC Ozu.

Despite the low turnout, the main role in this early vote was the rejection of a section of the opposition and the oppressed Hirak movement, President Abdelmadjit Deboun, who says he is “confident.”

“For me, voting is not a bar. What is important to me is that people have enough fairness to vote,” he declared after voting in Algiers.

“Those who want to ignore are free, as long as they don’t force it on others,” he said.