Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Algeria's election was a fraud" (J. Keenan at Al Jazeera)

Algeria's election was a fraud 

If any hopes for democracy remained for the country, widespread election fraud have quashed them

The results of Algeria's May 10 legislative elections have been met with such fury by Algerians that some analysts believe that these will be the last elections held under the current regime. If there were any hopes for democracy still remaining in the country, these elections snuffed them out.

Allegations of electoral fraud have been widespread since the government announced on May 11 that the turnout was 42.9 per cent, with the government's ruling parties winning an overwhelming majority of the votes. The Green Alliance of Islamist parties accused the government of "perpetrating widespread fraud". Similar allegations were made by the secular Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD). The Algerian National Front said it would challenge the results in the constitutional court over what party leader Moussa Touati called "blatant fraud", while Ali Laskri, leader of the opposition Socialist Front Forces (FFS), said that Thursday's vote "was riddled with irregularities".

Abderrazak Mukri, a spokesman for the Alliance, said that the results given by the Interior Ministry differ dramatically from those seen by the Alliance's observers. He told reporters: "There is a process of fraud on a centralised level to change the results that is putting the country in danger. … We are not responsible for what could happen."

Electoral fraud by Algeria's government is normal practice and expected. All elections since 1992, when the regime annulled Algeria's only truly democratic elections, have been rigged. What seems to have incensed Algerians about these latest elections is the scale and audacity of the fraud, both in the fabrication of the turnout figure and in the distribution of the votes.

... full story at Al Jazeera.

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