The campaign for Algeria’s local election on November 29th kicked off on Sunday amid a widespread climate of fear of massive abstention. The 52 participating parties have 25 days to convince people to vote.
According to statistics provided by the Interior Ministry, the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) is present in 1520 out of 1541 communal assemblies, followed by the National Democratic Rally (RND) with 1477 lists. Ranked third is Algerian Popular movement followed by the Workers’ Party.
The Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) withdrew from the national political scene, with its 166 lists submitted, reported observers. According to Mr. Ahcen Mezir, national board member of the RCD, "participation in elections is tactical because the RCD will not participate in municipalities where it cannot ensure transparency."
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The FLN and RND have managed to cover the whole country, which other political parties, especially the newly created ones, find it difficult to do. Political parties also have trouble gathering women to their lists as women traditionally are not engaged in the local political environment, said political analyst Rachid Tlemçani.
The financing of the election campaign is done through the means and resources of the contributing political parties, state aid and from the income of the candidates. Candidates in local and national elections are prohibited from receiving any direct or indirect financial contributions or donations from abroad.
Many party representatives have predicted a high rate of abstention. The voters seem to have little interest in this election, the second to be organized in the country since the Arab Spring.