What to Expect From Algeria’s Constitutional Referendum

MIN READOct 30, 2020 | 19:35 GMT

People walk past campaign billboards ahead of the upcoming constitutional referendum on a street in Algiers, Algeria, on Oct. 22, 2020.

(RYAD KRAMDI/AFP via Getty Images)

The small revisions proposed in Algeria’s Nov. 1 constitutional referendum are unlikely to motivate enough Algerians to turn out and vote against the changes. But while likely to pass, the amendments nonetheless remain controversial among activists and protesters in the country, which portends continued unrest. After months of consultations with constitutional scholars and political parties following the resignation of longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in April 2019, the Algerian government is holding a final vote on amendments that would see a slight expansion of executive power and more politicization of the military, as well as ensure some additional protections around civil freedoms such as voting and learning in the local Amazigh language. Amending the constitution has been a primary goal of President Abdelmajid Tebboune’s new government since he was elected in December 2019 after popular protests ousted Bouteflika. Constitutional reforms have also been a key focus of the Hirak anti-corruption protest movement,...

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