Dozens of Parties Set to Compete In Algeria's Electoral Marathon

Article Summary
Algerian parties are gearing up for an electoral campaign set to last three weeks, between April 15 and May 6. Othman Lehiani reports on the preparations of several strong contenders among the 42 parties registered to run.

Political parties and independent electoral lists are in the final stages of accepting candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections. When the deadline for picking candidates passes, they will begin a three-week campaign to introduce voters to their respective political programs and convince voters to head to the election stations and name their candidates.The Director-General for Public Liberties and Legal Affairs at the Interior Ministry, Mohammad Talbi, stated that the parliamentary election campaign will begin on Sunday, April 15 and end on May 6, 3 days before the elections on May 10. Twenty-two established parties will face 20 newly licensed parties in an election campaign that will last 21 days.
Ahmad Ouyahia, Secretary General of the National Democratic Alliance, said in the “Morning Breakfast” section of  the El Khabar newspaper that his party would run a strong campaign. He declared that he was getting ready to personally supervise the organization of electoral rallies in 40 states in support of his party’s candidates. The parties of the Islamic Bloc, on the other hand, will kick off their electoral campaign with a large popular rally in the capital’s Oval Hall early on March 27, and not on March 16, the date Algeria’s independence is celebrated. For its part, the National Liberation Front is getting ready to unleash the biggest electoral campaign in its history, with its Secretary General, Abdelaziz Belkhadem, supervising electoral rallies in 42 states. In those states they are expected to face competition from powerful parties such as the Worker’s Party, the Algerian National Front, Jab Allah’s Freedom and Justice Party, and Muhammad al-Said’s Development and Justice Front. The majority of newly licensed political parties, which number 20 so far, will contest their first elections and face stiff competition from strong, well-established parties.
Political parties’ electoral activities will be limited by electoral law. They are prohibited from using public lands or means for their benefit; they are barred from misusing the state’s symbols; they are barred from using mosques, other places of worship, public institutions and educational institutions to promote their electoral agendas; and they are forbidden from using foreign languages or receiving financial assistance or donations from any foreign country or individual. The Interior Ministry has asked municipalities to make available a number of halls and detail their respective occupancy capacity, so that these halls can be prepared and equipped to host the popular electoral rallies organized by the various political parties according to the schedule set by the National Independent Elections Monitoring Committee and its state and local branches. This committee also specifies public places where the candidates’ posters can be displayed.
Algerian television is also getting ready for the elections by recording interviews with representatives of political parties and independent candidates. A special technical team was also assigned to the Nation’s Palace at the Club Des Pins Resort, whilea special electoral news segment is set to follow the primetime television newscast.


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