Disillusioned voters may boycott Algeria election

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Disillusioned voters may boycott Algeria election

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Algeria is going to the polls in parliamentary elections, under pressure to reform after the ‘Arab Spring’ revolutions in neighbouring countries.

Yet after decades of rigged elections, many voters may stay away amid doubts the ballot will deliver democratic change and a better standard of living.

Authorities say this time things will be more free and transparent than ever before. More parties have been allowed to compete and for the first time the EU has been invited to monitor the vote.

However, many people do not see it making a difference to unemployment, poor housing and high prices.

In one slum area of the capital Algiers, known as the ‘Civil Concord District’, residents say politicians have already broken too many promises.

“Do you want me to vote?” asked one inhabitant, Gacem Rabeh. “Who should I vote for? Just tell me, who should I vote for? Too many candidates have come here and vowed to do many things for us. But once they get our votes, we don’t hear from them again.”

Moderate Islamist parties should emerge the winners but there is little chance that will lead to radical change.