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Constitutional referendum sees record low voter turnout

We’re now ending this live event. It is unclear why the regime has chosen to hold a referendum, a gamble that provided an opportunity for Algerians to punish the regime further. The regime had hoped that it could legitimize Abdelmadjid Tebboune who was put at head of the state following a massive electoral boycott. The regime believed that it had convinced a great portion of the population to come out and vote. This did not happen. With over 97% of registered voters not taking part in the referendum, the population has sent a bigger message of rejection to the regime than it had done in the presidential election of December 2019.

20:02 – Another video circulating on social media shows anti-riot police terrorising a neighborhood in Bejaia:

19:40 – According to the media Interlignes, the % of votes cast when computed from the number of votes comes up to 100.17% in the official figures put forward by the authorities

14:05 – There are still no news on the health status of Abdelmadjid Tebboune who is being treated for Covid-19 in Germany, is he alive? is he in a coma? will he come back in a stroller like his predecessor Bouteflika had done? A lot of questions and a complete opacity.

13:25 – Following a high level meeting this morning chaired by the army chief Saïd Chengriha at the ministry of defence, the military regime has announced that 66.8% of voters have chosen to back the constitutional amendment despite the record low turnout of 2.4%

09:50 – The police has been likened to “wild dogs” on social media, after videos emerged of anti-riot police seeking revenge on residents of neighbourhoods in Ben Khada, late last night, where the resident chose to boycott the referendum, breaking in flats and beating up residents:

09:38 – Morning! We are back on this live thread. The official numbers have now come in, the regime has chosen 23.7%, a figure largely inflated as is common practice in the country. Independently verified assessments put the turnout figure at a humiliating 2.4%. This figure was computed using testimonies of current staff working for the Algerian presidency, the ministry of interior and the ANIE.

20:20 – A referendum finally boycotted by the vast majority of Algerians, almost a non-event. We will come back tomorrow for more updates while we collect reliable results.

16:32 – CONFIRMED: According to sources at the Algerian presidency and the ministry of foreign affairs speaking under the condition of anonymity, in fear of reprisals, the voter turnout really stands at 0.97% at this time

16:05 – The regime announces 5 million voters. On the ground the reality is much different.

16:00 – In Bouira, protesters who came out to denounce referendum face off with anti-riot police

15:50 – London: protest staged outside the Algerian consulate

15:15 – Many arrests are being reported across the country, including the arrest of Zoheïr Aberkane, an independent journalist, who was taken into custody by armed men (without insignia) in Algiers for unspecified motives

Zoheïr Aberkane

15:02 – Questioned by the Algiers Herald on why she will not vote, Meriem H, a resident of Algiers told us “voting is treason, on this holy day we honour our independence’s martyrs, not some corrupt military junta

14:45 – According to media reports, Abdelmadjid Tebboune tasked his wife with voting given his hospitalisation in Germany. However, on social media, Algerians have cast doubt over whether the woman presented as his wife is genuinely his wife, or just a prop

14:35 – Critics of the new constitution say it will allow France and the U.S using Algerian soldiers as mercenaries in Mali and Niger in their fight against Islamic terror groups. Indeed, the new constitution, for the first time since the independence of the country, will allow the Algerian president to deploy soldiers outside of the national territory.

14:27 – A referendum under high surveillance:

13:56 – The constitutional referendum is turning out to be a massive humiliation for the regime with a president hospitalised in Germany and a no show of the population. According to reports coming in at the minute, Tizi Ouzou follows Bejaia in declaring the vote as cancelled. The governmental entity in charge of overseeing elections (ANIE) has removed the requirement of presenting a voting card at polling places, in a last minute move to get more people to vote.

13:47 – According to Radio Soummam, the vote in Bejaia was cut short at mid-day because of the anti-regime protests. The turnout rate is a derisory 0.28%. Of the 566,282 registered, only 1,610 voted. The 1,610 who voted before the closure are believed to be soldiers from Boukhlifa.

13:37 – In Bouira, anti-riot police have used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse demonstrators

13:27 – Thousands are taking part in growing protests across Algeria to denounce the holding of the referendum. Constantine, Bejaia, Tizi Ouzou Kherrata, to name but a few, are among the places where protests are gaining traction. In parallel polling places are empty, the videos of voters broadcast by TV channels close to the regime appear increasingly staged.

13:21 – The regime has been accused of staging a video in which dozens of men are seen running to vote, a video presented as genuine voters keen on taking part in the referendum. However, in the suspicious video, there are no women, and all the men appear of the same age. It should be acknowledged that during the 12/12/2019 presidential election, the regime had been accused of forcing army conscripts to vote or face disciplinary measures

11:35 – President Tebboune’s hospitalisation in Germany for Covid-19 continues to generate much speculation. According to Algérie Part, Tebboune was evacuated from Algeria in critical condition, likely causing him to sustain brain damage

11:22 – In Tizi Ouzou, the referendum doesn’t look like it will happen any time soon. Protesters are seen storming a polling place, roadblocks were also set in the region according to reports coming in

10:49 – Heavy presence of anti-riot police across Algeria to secure the referendum, it should be noted that over the past weeks, many figures of the pro-democracy protests called for preventing the vote from happening, by forming human chains around polling places, others have even called for burning the polling places

10:45 – In Bouira, protesters destroyed ballot boxes to show their rejection of the referendum

10:32 – Caricaturist Dilem on the referendum, the caption reads “is this where we bury the Hirak?”(in reference to the pro-democracy protests).

10:15 – On social media, Algerians mock Tebboune as a result of his hospitalisation in Germany after being infected with Covid-19. Tebboune had recently stated that the Algerian health system “is the best in Africa”.

10:02 – Yesterday, in Bejaia and across a number of cities, Algerians came out to call for an end to the military rule in place since 1962, demanding a civilian state over a military state:

09:33 – The Algerian diaspora started voting yesterday, October 31st. The turnout is expected to be very low according to diplomatic sources. In France, the turnout has so far been extremely low. Diplomatic sources spoken to by the Algiers Herald point towards a voter turnout not exceeding 1%. A rate that will likely be inflated in the regime’s official figures.

09:22 – Good morning everyone, we’re here today to bring you the latest updates on the controversial referendum held today, November 1st, in Algeria, as the president Abdelmadjid Tebboune remains in Germany after being admitted for treatment for Covid-19.

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