Signs of Low Turnout as Algerians Vote in Parliamentary Election

By Lamine Chikhi, Hamid Ould Ahmed

ALGIERS (Reuters) -Algeria held parliamentary elections on Saturday that the ruling establishment hopes will turn a page on political unrest amid a crackdown on dissent, but early indications suggested few people were voting.

Two years after mass demonstrations forced a veteran president to step down in Algeria’s biggest political crisis for decades, the authorities are still struggling to quell the protest movement.

Saturday’s vote follows a presidential election in 2019 and a referendum on an amended constitution last year, but many Algerians still think real power is wielded by the army and security forces.

The election authority said only 3.78% of voters had cast ballots two hours after polls opened. By comparison, some 7.92% had voted three hours into the 2019 presidential election, when final turnout was 40%.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said decisions were made by the majority of those who voted, regardless of turnout.

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