Around 18 million people are eligible to vote, but abstention is expected to be high. Five years ago 46 percent of the electorate did not cast their ballot, and this time the figure may be higher as several prominent groups have called for a boycott. After a bomb attack yesterday in the northern town of Constantine, security is high and police are searching voters as they enter polling stations.
The current ruling coalition- made up of three pro-Presidential parties- is widely tipped to retain power. The influence of the Parliament is in practice limited, as it’s the President and government who make policy, which generally passes without much difficulty. The main concern for many Algerians is the economy- unemployment is high- as much as 75 percent among young adults.