The run-up to Algeria’s legislative election has taken a new turn after the national election body ordered political parties to display photos of female candidates on their posters instead of a blank image.
This age-old practice in the conservative Bordj Bou Arréridj Province in eastern Algeria will end after the political parties assented to the directive and 48-hour ultimatum to reprint posters or risk being disqualified, state news agency APS reported Tuesday.
The High Authority for Election Monitoring (HIISE) in the province took the decision after social media campaigns against the practice.
The decision not to display photos are largely made by the candidates as other women have theirs displayed.
This kind of exclusion is dangerous, illegal and unconstitutional, especially as these women are candidates going to represent the people. The citizen has the right to know the person to vote for.
“This kind of exclusion is dangerous, illegal and unconstitutional, especially as these women are candidates going to represent the people. The citizen has the right to know the person to vote for,” local portal Algerie-Focus quoted Hassan Noui, an HIISE official.
The election body also called on the local authorities and Ministry of Interior to take appropriate legal measures at the local and national level to put an end to the practice.
However, the head of the civil society group Movement of Society for Peace (MSP) Abderezak Mokri condemned the order describing it as illegal.
He told local newspaper Ennahar that the candidates will file a court action if they are disqualified.
Political parties cited as culprits include the Socialist Front Forces (FFS), the Ennahda-Adala-Bina alliance, the Algerian National Front (FNA), the Algerian Front for Development, Freedom and Justice (FADLJ) and the National Militants Front (FMN).
23, 251,503 voters are set to elect 462 members of the People’s National Assembly (APN-Lower House) in Algeria’s legislative elections on May 4, 2017.
Campaigning started early April.