Tahir Kilavuz

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Last week’s parliamentary elections in Algeria went largely as expected: The two-party ruling coalition retained its majority in the country’s National Assembly. But for those following the elections, the real focus was on disappointing voter turnout. Although both the Algerian government and major opposition parties carried out a massive campaign urging people to vote, only 35.4 percent of Algerians did so — one of the lowest voter participation rates ever.

Low turnout is considered a major blow for the government, as well as the main opposition parties, which expected a voter turnout rate of 45 to 50 percent. The winners of the turnout race were the sensational online boycotting campaign #mansotich (a play on words to say “I will not vote”) and the boycotters: three smaller opposition parties led by known political figures.…  Seguir leyendo »