Record six in 10 abstain in Algeria's disputed presidential poll

Friday December 13 2019

An Algerian man casts his vote during the

An Algerian man casts his vote during the presidential election on December 12, 2019 at a polling station in Algiers. AFP PHOTO 


A record six in 10 Algerians abstained from voting in the country's presidential election that was firmly rejected by the nine-month-old protest movement.
Just under 40 percent of registered voters cast a ballot on Thursday, said electoral authority chief Mohamed Charfi, speaking on national television.

Charfi said the turnout among Algerians living in the country was a little over 41 percent and close to nine percent among its nationals living abroad, the lowest rate for a multi-party election in the country's history.
The unpopular vote comes after a street protest movement in April ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 82, following two decades in office.

Demonstrators have kept up weekly protests demanding an end to the military-backed political system.
On Thursday, tens of thousands rallied in central Algiers, where all morning police with water cannon and helicopters tried to disperse protesters and prevent a repeat of the previous day's anti-election demonstrations.