Tensions are rising in Algeria ahead of the presidential election

Algeria together with its tense situation is one month ahead of the December 12 presidential elections.

No one can say for sure what the outcome of this date will be, and the only thing certain is the high rates of boycoting the elections in Kabylie, noting that the number of Algerian voters is 20 million.

The French newspaper „Le Figaro“ says the Algerian administration – based on current surveys – is expecting the lowest participation rate possible together with other challenges concerning the voting.

Possible forced boycots

During the last 37 weeks, protestors continue to demonstrate on the streets, refusing to vote. In their view the election would be a favorable opportunity for the regime to reproduce itself.

The public support of such actions raises fears that through social media actions could lead to blocking the access to polling stations, which, if it happens, could raise tensions on election day and during election campaign.

In conjunction with the protests campaigns are launched against election candidates, e.g. a video clip was published, showing former Prime Minister Ali Ben Fleis inside a restaurant in the suburb of Algiers suddenly under attack from a large number of restaurant pioneers. The politician said that the video in fact would be a fake.

The disintegration of the old system

Although many candidatescall themselves opposition to President Bouteflika during the final period of his presidency, Algerians consider them merely a front for the regime.

Sufian Jalil, a new-generation opponent, believes that Algeria is witnessing the beginning of another regime’s dissolution and the rise of the streets, which in his view is positive, although he believes that those, who managed to run for the presidential elections, are all old faces.

The absence of new faces on the political scene

Journalist Najib Belhimer asked how we can talk about change via the ballot box while preventing people from discovering new political faces, alternative to those existing for the last 20 years.

Algeria is in a state of an increasing tension, with the demonstrations as a focal point, in conjunction with widespread military and security equipment together with continued arrests of civilians.

Train of Hope

The political opposition and civil forces realize that they can only boycott the elections, if the peaceful movement will be harassed, an opposition activist says, the regime will not be renewed in the same way, but its next president will show much more openness. Also, the authorities show that they are not concerned with the election file. Al-Jaysh newspaper wrote in its November issue that the election trajectory was similar to that of the Amal train, about to reach its final stop.

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