Polling stations have closed in the first presidential elections to be held in Algeria since the resignation of the ailing former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika last April. Former prime minister Abdelmajid Tebboune, 74, has won with 58 percent of the votes. “Nothing new but it marks a comeback for one of the men closest to Bouteflika. When he was prime minister he tried to promote the former president’s ties with the business world,” explained Caterina Roggero, a lecturer at the University of Milan-Bicocca.
The election was accompanied by a day of protests. Turnout for the presidential elections was low at just 40 percent. In line with the turnout in 2017 (38 percent). The first demonstrations broke out in February 2019 and the election was postponed in July due to the absence of candidates. Many Algerians had supported a boycott of the election, accusing members of the old regime and military leaders of wanting to maintain the status quo. In addition to Tebboune, the presidential candidates allowed to stand by the independent election monitoring authority (NIEMA) were the former prime minister, Ali Benflis, the former tourism minister, Abdelakader Bengrina, the former minister of Culture, Azzedine Mihoubi, and the leader of the Mostakbal (Future) party, Abdelaziz Belaid.