A proposal to change Algeria’s constitution won the most votes in Sunday’s referendum, despite a low voter turnout. Photo: Pexels
A proposal to change Algeria’s constitution won the most votes in Sunday’s referendum, despite a low voter turnout. Photo: Pexels

Low turnout, but Algerians vote to change constitution

By Chad Williams Time of article published Nov 3, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - A proposal to change Algeria’s constitution won the most votes in Sunday’s referendum despite a low voter turnout.

According to reports, the revised constitution passed with 66.8% of the vote, National Independent Elections Authority (ANIE) chief Mohamed Charfi told a news conference on Monday.

The ANIE announced a voter turnout of just 23.7%, Algeria’s lowest ever for a major poll, reports news broadcaster Al Jazeera.

According to the BBC, Algerians took to the polls to vote in a referendum that was meant to cement changes made possible after long-time President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was forced to resign last year.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune came to power last year in a controversial election that followed the departure of Bouteflika, who resigned in the face of massive popular protests against his bid for a fifth term in office, writes the BBC.

Meanwhile, according to Al Jazeera, the Hirak protest movement had called for a boycott, dismissing the revised constitution as a “façade” of change.

In 2019, Algerians took to the streets six days after Bouteflika announced his candidacy for a fifth presidential term in a signed statement.

Thousands of Algerians protested in a series of demonstrations against the president’s re-election bid.

According to Middle East Monitor, Algeria has had a number of constitutional amendments. However, many of the reforms have met with criticism due to disparities between what was proposed and what was implemented.

Meanwhile, last week, Tebboune went into self-isolation amid fears of Covid-19 exposure. His condition remains unknown.

African News Agency

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