Algerian Legislative elections: Work and housing at the heart of the concerns of young voters

In Hussein Dey, around Alger, young adults discussed in the street. « Ma n’votich » (I do not vote), said one of them. These days, this sentence was practically expressed by all populations. We just had to listen carefully to understand that the main discussions revolved around the election of May 4. In the center of Alger, it is the same thing. For several days, the different parties arranged groups in Didouche Mourad Street, one of the most popular place of the capital.

Young people call on passers-by and call them to vote for their candidate. Except that after a few minutes of a very formal conversation, they said they would not vote for “they are all liars, » one of them replied. The latter were not members of the party for which they were tracting. They were only employed at 1000 dinars a day, to advertise them. « Our job is to distribute the flyers, » confirmed another young man later. In the group that tracts for a different candidate, the oldest was only 23 years old and already wanted to leave the country. « Ma n’sotich », (I do not jump), he told us in reference to the diverted formulation used by an Algerian player who will boycott the elections. Chemseddine Lamrani did not say explicitly that he would not be voting, but everyone understood his message.

« All we want is stable work »

The Algerian economy is currently marked by falling oil prices and growth is expected to slow down in 2017, according to the World Bank forecasts. In the country, the unemployment rate was officially 10.5% in September 2016, according to figures published at the beginning of the year by the National Statistical Office. It mainly affects young people under the age of 25, who are 26.7% unemployed.

For this segment of the population, the main concern remains work. « Even if I vote, nobody will then pay attention to me, » said Azzedine, 25. He said he had never voted, whether for the legislative or presidential elections. « All young people are left behind. We just need stable work, « complained one of his 19-year-old colleagues. « They are all the same, they promise things and then disappear ». 

BakirDjehlane, is a business manager. He will not vote. « I can’t give my vote to someone who does not deserve it. The level of parliament representative is not good, » said the 36-year-old man. « I am a trader and the Ministry of Trade changes the laws within 24 hours! ». He denounced the incompetence of candidates who « promise projects to citizens, while their job is to legislate. I have never voted but I follow the elections carefully, « concluded Bakir.


Therefore, the elections are everywhere in the streets and in the speeches, but the candidates always have difficulty to mobilize the crowds. Yet in recent weeks, the members of government have increased media movements to call the Algerians to vote. Moreover, the media were also called upon not to follows disrupters.

In France, where the vote began on Saturday (April 29), Djamel Bouras, an immigration FLN Member of Parliament for the north, said he had carried out several awareness campaigns in mosques, markets and associations. But some organizations such as ADDRA (Association of Algerians of both sides and their friends) and DARE (Diaspora of Algerians living abroad) called on their members not to vote. They denounced the absence of Members of Parliament who remained insensitive to the claims of the Diaspora. 

Voting is « compulsory »

For other Algerians, it is unthinkable not to accomplish his right to vote. Ahmed Birech, is a doctor in family sociology. This employee of the Ministry of Housing considered that we are obliged to vote. « Of course our country is facing problems and there are people who are not good. But who will vote for us? « Wondered the thirty-years old man. « We will have to leave a message to our children and our grandchildren and try to recover Algeria. Apart from the laws, I expect our parliamentarians to have programs and meet the expectations of people who have neither houses nor families,” he said hopefully.

At the latest elections in 2012, 42.9% of people had voted. The National Liberation Front (NLF) won 220 out of the 462 seats of the National Assembly.


Author: Zahra Rahmouni//Photo: Election campaign posters, Alger © DR

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