A voter casts his ballot during parliamentary elections at a polling station in the Berber region of Bani Amrane, southeast of Algiers, May 10, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina)

Algerian Parties Scramble to Find Candidates for Local Elections

Author: alkhabar Posted July 29, 2012

After overcoming the shock of the last legislative elections, most political parties have begun to look seriously at tackling local elections set to take place by year’s end. The political parties fear that they will be unable to find enough candidates.

SummaryPrint Algerian political parties are preparing for local elections scheduled for the end of November. But they're worried that they will be unable to find the 18,000 candidates needed to fill their electoral slates or enough women to satisfy the 30% female quota required by law. Othman Lahyani reports.
Author Othman Lahyani Posted July 29, 2012
TranslatorRani Geha

Most political parties are looking forward to the upcoming local elections. But they will be facing many difficulties because each party will be required to nominate at least 18,000 candidates for the 1,541 municipalities and the 48 provinces. With the exception of major parties, most parties will be unable to find that number of candidates. Another problem facing the parties is satisfying the requirement that 30% of candidates on the municipal and provincial electoral lists be women. That would be especially difficult in the conservative provinces and in the interior areas where women generally do not participate in politics and elections. The political parties have discussed that problem during the parliamentary debate on the electoral law. The biggest difficulty facing the political parties is that a party list is required to obtain at least 7% of the votes in order to be represented in a municipal or provincial council.

Election laws says that municipal and provincial elections "should take place during the last three months of the current parliamentary term," which ends Nov. 29. This means that the political parties have until the end of August to complete all electoral arrangements including forming and submitting their electoral lists and getting their lists accepted by the administration. The parties will then conduct an electoral campaign for two and half months, starting at the end of August, which coincides with the end of the month of Ramadan. But Ramadan is expected to be followed by strikes and protests over social issues.

These problems have prompted the political parties to start preparing early for the upcoming local elections. The Socialist Forces said their national council will be holding a special session during the next two weeks when they will discuss the candidates' standards and how to prepare for the local elections. The Workers Party will be discussing the local elections during its meeting at the beginning of August. The National Liberation Front has announced that it will discuss the local elections during their regional seminars taking place in several provinces starting Aug 3. The party will also discuss how to attract the most votes and how to put more young people on party lists by giving young activists an opportunity to run in municipal elections. The party will hold its congress in the city of Tipaza on Sept. 7.

In the same context, the National Democratic Assembly has also started early preparations for the local elections by holding open gatherings in 48 provinces entitled "The role of the elected local [councils] in development." The gatherings will set up the provincial committees for the local elections. The national committee will hold regional meetings to raise women's participation in the party's electoral lists.

The Peace Society Movement has also started preparing for the elections. Its provincial centers have started organizing electoral workshops. The party’s center in Tissemsilt organized an electoral workshop that included discussion of “a candidate’s standards and how to participate, campaign, and win in the upcoming elections”. The party’s official website said that the workshop marked the official launch of the party’s electoral campaign.

Read More: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/07/trying-to-find-18000-local-elect.html

Published Algiers, Algeria Established 1990
Language Arabic Frequency daily

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