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13 Dec 2019 | 08:09 AM UTC

Algeria: Former Prime Minister Tebboune wins presidential election December 12 /update 58

Former Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune wins contested presidential election December 12; protests likely to continue



Abdelmadjid Tebboune has won the presidential lelection that took place on Thursday, December 12, amid a low voter turnout. Tebboune won by a large margin, recuperating 58 percent of the vote and the candidate who followed just behind, Abdelkader Bengrine, won 17.4 percent of the vote. Tebboune previously served as Prime Minister of Algeria from May 2017 through August 2017 and as Minister of Housing in 2001-2002 and again in 2012-2017.

Voter turnout was markedly low, at 33 percent of the population by 17:00 (local time) on Thursday, two hours before polls closed.

Protests are very likely to continue in Algiers and other urban centers on Friday and through the weekend.

Heightened security measures and business disruptions are to be expected on Wednesday evening (local time) and throughout the day, as well as spontaneous protests and the possibility of violent clashes.


Five candidates are running in the presidential election: Abdelmajid Tebboune, Ali Benflis, Azzeddine Mihoubi, Abdelkader Bengrina, and Abdelaziz Belaid, all of which have served in high-level government roles. Part of the population has vowed to boycott the election, as they oppose the list of candidates due to their links to the former regime. Independent candidates were not allowed to run by the interim military government. Political tensions have produced continuing nationwide protests, and some outlets have stated that the government has taken a heavy-handed stance in repressing the demonstrations.

Algeria is operating under an interim government, installed since former President Abdul-Aziz Bouteflika left office in April. On September 15, Interim President Abdelkader Bensalah announced that presidential elections would be held on December 12, following months of political tensions in Algeria sparked by former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's intention to run for a fifth term. An interim government was approved on March 31, though protesters have continued to hold demonstrations. Presidential elections previously set for July 4 were called off by the Algerian Constitutional Council after the only two candidates were rejected.


Individuals in Algiers and across Algeria are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and anticipate a heightened security presence and localized disruptions to business and transportation around protest sites.