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Vol 50 No 8

Published 17th April 2009


Victory in a vacuum

This time, rigging the election turnout was more important than rigging the vote

Since there was no heavyweight candidate to stand against him, it was little surprise that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was re-elected with 90.24% of the vote in the 9 April election (AC Vol 50 No 1). More surprising, given the general apathy and the outright anger with the regime in parts of the country, was the 74.6% turnout announced by Interior Minister Nourredine ‘Yazid’ Zerhouni, a long-standing friend of the President. The authorities had taken precautions to avoid ‘Boutef’ being humiliated by a low turnout, after supposedly secret official polling had suggested that only around 15-20% of electors were going to vote, with a lower percentage still in Algiers and Kabylie.

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