Algeria held its presidential election on 12 December, amid a mass boycott and police clashes.

People took to the streets, shouting “No to elections of shame” and “Generals in the rubbish”. They rejected all five candidates, because of their ties to the ruling government. Critics also complain about the involvement of the military in political life.

“We have all the reasons to take to the street today instead of going to a polling station: rising unemployment, rampant corruption, people being deprived of their civil and political rights”, a protester said. Another protester shouted:”Enough of the long-standing military rule!”.

Interior minister Salah Eddine Dahmoune last week described the protesters as traitors and mercenaries.

The turnout has so far been low, as expected. Algeria’s Independent Election Monitoring Authority said only 20% voted of the 900,000 Algerians overseas, where the electoral procedure began a few days earlier.

If no candidate secures more than 50% of the votes cast, the two leading candidates will head to a runoff.