Voting began on Saturday morning in the Algerian parliamentary elections, as polling stations opened their doors for Algerian voters to choose their representatives in parliament from the lists of candidates for parties and independents. This is the first parliamentary elections since the start of the popular movement according to a new voting system.
Al-Jazeera correspondent Atef Qadadra said that the voting offices opened at eight in the morning, Algeria time, and closed at seven in the evening of the same day, indicating the possibility of extending the voting process in some centers.
He added that the Ministry of Interior imposed strict security measures starting from last night, referring to an amendment to the Penal Code to address the so-called attempts to disrupt the electoral process; Whether by preventing people from voting, or by vandalizing polling stations.
More than 22,000 candidates are competing for 407 seats in the National People’s Assembly (the first chamber of parliament).
These contenders belong to 2,288 lists, of which 1,080 are party lists, and 1,208 are independent lists, while the number of women candidates has reached 5,744.
Al-Jazeera correspondent said that in the state of Algiers – which includes the largest electoral district in the country – 36 electoral lists are competing for 34 seats.
For the third and final day, the Algerian community abroad continues to vote in the parliamentary elections.
In France, where the largest Algerian community is based abroad, the voter turnout is still low, according to some testimonies.
Some organizers attribute this to the fact that the turnout for early voting on Thursday and Friday is usually low.
Some Algerians residing in France have called for an increase in the number of parliamentary seats representing the Algerian community, which currently stands at 4.
On March 12 last, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune called for early parliamentary elections after dissolving Parliament at the beginning of the same month, the first to take place since he came to power after popular protests in February 2019 against the regime of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
These elections are the third ballot supervised by the Independent Electoral Authority in Algeria, after the presidential elections of December 2019 and the referendum to amend the constitution in November 2020.
The Algerian parliamentary elections are held on the basis of a new electoral system, as the voter cannot vote for more than one list or vote for a particular list or candidates in another list.
The voter must choose one list, then mark the candidates he chose in proportion to the number of parliamentary seats allocated to his mandate.
More than half a million people work in the conduct of voting, according to the Independent National Electoral Authority.