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Opposition calls for election boycott

Video by Adel GASTEL , Noreddine BEZZIOU

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-04-07

Campaigning for the Algerian presidential election ends on Monday, with the final voting to take place on April 9. Many have questioned the fairness of the race, and the African Union plans to send a mission to monitor the polling.

Opposition parties are calling voters to ignore the Algerian presidential election of April 9 to protest the lack of political debate in the campaign.


In a show of defiance, a black flag has now replaced the Algerian national flag on the façade of the Movement for Culture and Democracy (RCD).


“We’re mourning democracy,” says Saïd Sadi, the head of the RCD. “President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s mandate has turned into a presidency for life. We’re surrounded by physical as well as symbolic threats. The black flag will stay until they extend the white flag to us.”


The Socialist Front (FFS) also called Algerians to boycott the polls and act as pacifist political dissidents.


“We called for a boycott based on a simple observation: people vote less and less. They don’t want to be instrumentalised and used as tokens of decisions taken elsewhere, says Karim Tabbou, the FSS first secretary.


Calling for a boycott is a way for the opposition to draw the population into the debate. But voters may have already chosen to abstain, knowing already who the next president is likely to be…
 

Date created : 2009-04-06

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