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Algeria election authority to launch referendum awareness campaign


Algeria election authority to launch referendum awareness campaign

Photo: Reuters/ Ramzi Boudina

Algeria’s National Independent Authority for Elections will launch an awareness campaign today ahead of a referendum on a constitutional amendment.

The amendment—President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s flagship project and gesture of goodwill vis-à-vis the Hirak protest movement that toppled long-time ruler Abdelaziz Bouteflika—is approaching its final phase. It has introduced several reforms, such as the creation of the position of vice president, the possibility of sending military troops abroad and the strengthening of the prerogatives of the head of government. However, the work has taken place without any real democratic debate. Meetings are prohibited and politics are at a standstill, depriving the process of any real debate.

Tebboune hopes to take this opportunity to establish the ruling elite’s legitimacy, which was greatly diminished by the massive Hirak boycott during the 2019 presidential election. The constitution should pave the way for a radical change in the mode of governance and its mechanisms through the expansion of the control prerogatives of parliament. However, expect the nature of Algeria’s institutions to stay the same. Power is concentrated in the hands of the executive, which maintains its ascendancy over the parliament and the power to appoint all state overseers and regulatory authorities. As a result, expect youth to boycott the referendum, depriving the regime of legitimacy.

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