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Algerian Parliament Faces Legitimacy Issue

Algerian Parliament Faces Legitimacy Issue

Monday, 14 June, 2021 - 06:30
Algerian elections staff count ballots for parliamentary elections at a polling station in Bouchaoui, Algiers (AFP)

Algeria’s National Independent Elections Authority (ANIE) announced that voter turnout during the legislative elections on Saturday reached 30.20 percent.

Voter turnout was 38 percent in the 2017 parliamentary elections and 42 percent in 2012, which poses a strong legitimacy crisis for the legislature.

The low turnout came after the Hirak protest movement and a number of opposition parties called for boycotting the polls.

Head of the Islamist Movement of Society for Peace Abdel Razzaq Makri announced that MSP candidates were in the lead in most regions.

He warned against "numerous efforts to alter the results” and called on President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to “protect the people's will”.

According to reports, a large number of independents have won the seats of two former regime-linked parties, the National Liberation Front and Democratic National Rally, but with the same former candidates.

Many of the independent lists included candidates from both parties and from other parties that had backed the policies of ex-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Observers expect the upcoming parliament to consist of three main blocs: Islamists, independents, and parties allied with the former regime.

Meanwhile, the authorities cancelled France 24's right to operate in the country, over its "clear and repeated hostility towards our country and its institutions", the communications ministry and government spokesman Ammar Belhimer said in quotes carried by the APS news agency.

Belhimer indicated that it was also due to "the blatant bias of the channel, as well as actions close to inflammatory activities and unprofessional hostilities towards the country."

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