Algeria: Constitutional Amendment – Over 24 Million Voters Called for Polls Sunday

Algiers — More than 24 million of voters are called for the polls Sunday to pronounce, by referendum, on the draft Constitution amendment in a particular context marked by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this respect, and considering this health crisis, the National Independent Authority of Elections (ANIE) has developed a special health protocol on the occasion of the referendum to avoid the risks of the spread of the pandemic.

Approved by the scientific committee for monitoring the progress of Covid-19 pandemic, this protocol sets the stages governing the organization of this referendum.

For example, the entrance to the polling stations is authorized only to two or three people at once and a disinfection system will be implemented for this purpose.

However, voting could be brought forward by 72 hours in remote areas and by 120 hours for the national community abroad, to facilitate the vote of electors “exclusively” concerned by these provisions, according to the same law.

As in the presidential election of 12 December 2019, the organization and management of the referendum on the constitutional amendment bill falls only under the prerogatives of ANIE whose statute and missions were constitutionalized in the draft Constitution revision.

ANIE’s head Mohamed Charfi affirmed that all the conditions are met to ensure “the transparency and impartiality” of the referendum.

Chief of Staff of the People’s National Army, Lieutenant General Said Chanegriha, ordered the National Gendarmerie, in coordination with the other security bodies, to take all the necessary measures to secure polling stations and centers nationwide.

During the referendum campaign, which started on 7 October and ended on 28 October, heads of political parties, representatives of civil society, union and employers’ organizations, as well as members of the government called, in meetings and speeches, citizens to go massively to the polls, stressing the crucial character of the polls for the country’s future and to lay the bases of a new Algeria.

Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad affirmed that the draft Constitution amendment has come “to complete the process of building a national State” and said he is convinced that the Algerian people “will support this project which responds to their aspirations.”

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