Algerians vote in a referendum ‘to end years of deviousness’


Algerians are voting in a referendum that is meant to cement changes made possible after long-time President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was forced to resign last year.

But opponents say it falls short of fundamental reform.

The referendum’s timing is auspicious.

It falls on 1 November – the anniversary of the start of Algeria’s war of independence against France back in 1954, a date today’s government chose for its symbolism.

It also comes though as Algeria’s president has been flown to Germany for medical care.

The cause of his ill health has not been disclosed, but President Abdelmadjid Tebboune had self-isolated and spent time in a military hospital in Algiers after a number of his aides and colleagues contracted coronavirus.

Algerians are voting on presidential term limits and creating a new anti-corruption body.

To win the referendum, either the “yes” or “no” camp needs at least 51% of the vote.

Results are to be announced on Monday.