Ahead of tomorrow’s Parliamentary elections in Algeria, the mood among the voters is one of apathy. Several groups, including the outlawed Islamic Salvation Front and Al-Qaida in the Maghreb have called for a boycott, as well as the main legitimate opposition party, the socialist FFS.
Turn-out is widely expected to be low, with many Algerians cynical of the parties’ ability to bring about change. In the northern town of Tizi Ouzou, one man told reporters: “I know that it will just be the same old outcome. We’re fed up with those who don’t think about the people. I’m not going to vote. I’ve only ever voted once. I know it’ll just be the same ones that come back and make the same promises. There’s no point.” An ethnic Kabyle woman said she already knew the result, and it wouldn’t change the humiliation of her people.”
For most of the 18 million or so registered voters, the economy is the main concern. Unemployment is up to 75 percent for those under 30, and income has stagnated at around 260 euros per month.