ISSN 2330-717X

Algerian Parties Try To Lure Voters

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By Nazim Fethi

It’s been over ten days since the legislative electoral campaign began but many still fear low voter turnout.

In what people are calling “an unprecedented move” for a major political entity in Algeria, the secretary-general of Algeria’s ruling party is reaching out to Facebook users.

On Sunday (April 29th) between 7 and 8 pm, National Liberation Front (FLN) chief Abdelaziz Belkhadem, will respond to live questions from people on Facebook, Tout sur l’Algerie reported.

Online outreach has netted the FLN more than 5,000 fans on the social network.

And there are some 4 million internet users in Algeria.

The picture remains difficult, however, for parties trying to woo voter interest ahead of the May 10th legislative election.

The National Bureau of Statistics expects a 50% participation rate but the electoral campaign has had a hard time drawing crowds in and having people attend the candidates’ meetings.

Party leaders travel across the country to convince people to vote. But electoral meetings are often plagued by poor attendance.

Bouguerra Soltani, the leader of the Movement for the Society of Peace (MSP) and one of the founders of the Green Alliance, was banished and manhandled in Ksar El Boukhari, while Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, the secretary-general of the National Rally for Democracy (RND), was unable to hold a meeting in Bouria.

In Adrar, Abdelaziz Belkhadem, the National Liberation Front (FLN) leader, was booed, while other new party leaders simply had to cancel their meetings.

According to Mahmoud Rachidi, the secretary-general of the Socialist Workers’ Party, “Algerians gave up on electoral campaigns.”

Nearly all political parties have called for a massive vote.

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