Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Home News Algerian Judges Seek to Boycott Election Supervision | TIME ONLINE

Algerian Judges Seek to Boycott Election Supervision | TIME ONLINE

In Algeria An influential judge's association has sided with the demonstrators. The lawyers announced that they would not supervise the presidential election on 4 July. More than a hundred judges protested in their robes before the Ministry of Justice in Algiers. "The judge's association has decided to boycott the supervision of the presidential election," said investigating judge Saad Eddine Merzoug from El Oued.

The judges play an important role in elections in Algeria. They check, among other things, the electoral roll, a common issue between government and opposition. Starting this week, the electoral roll for the presidential election actually controlled. Already in March, 1000 judges had joined the protests against the then President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

After the resignation of the longtime president Bouteflika his interim successor Abdelkader Bensalah had set the election date for July 4th and announced "transparent" elections. The mass protests continue, however, and are now directed against the entire Algerian leadership elite. The protesters complain that elections can not be free or fair within the system that Bouteflika has heard so far.

At a major demonstration on Friday it came for the first time to major violent clashes between protesters and the police. When the security forces tried to crowd the crowd in front of the old post office building Algiers disperse, demonstrators threw stones and bottles. At least one police car was set on fire, the police used tear gas and water cannon.

Activists fear more violence

According to the security authorities, 83 police were injured. Several protesters were also injured. The police arrested 108 people. Since then, activists fear that the protests will not be as peaceful as before. The "extent of the repression" had been greater at the demonstration than before, said the vice president of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights, Said Salhi.

Political scientist Cherif Driss said the police seem to start narrowing down the "public space for expression". The police operation on Friday was still "moderate and professional" and has been largely limited to tear gas and water cannons, said Driss. A brutal crackdown on the protests does not exist yet.

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