Several Algerian opposition parties have denounced the “arbitrary” rejection of many of their lists for the municipal and provincial elections of November 23, accusing the Government of wanting to take control of local assemblies.

From laymen from the Rally for Culture and Democracy ( RCD ) to Islamist formations – including the Society for Peace Movement ( MSP ) – to the Socialist Front ( FFS , left), the oldest party in the world. Opposition raises many applications or lists invalidated for reasons deemed futile or misleading.

Some sixty candidates of the Islamist alliance El Binaa-Ennahda- FJD have been recalibrated, “some for unpaid fines”, others “for” “threat to security”, while they do not subject to prosecution and conviction, “said Khelifa Hadjira, one of the leaders of this coalition.

These rejected candidacies are difficult to replace, say the opposition parties who, for lack of volunteers, have already struggled to complete their lists in certain constituencies.

In addition, they accuse the prefectures zealously ensured the respect of a provision of the 2016 electoral law, applied for the first time in the framework of local polls: it imposes on the lists of parties having obtained less than 4% of the vote in previous elections to collect the “sponsorship” of 50 voters per seat to be filled.

These parties, whose electorate is concentrated in a few bastions, had to collect in very many constituencies where their base is weak from 650 to 2,150 signatures per commune and 1,750 and 2,750 per department.

A challenge in a country where only the FLN of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and his ally, the Democratic National Rally ( RND ) of Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, have a base and a national network: in the 2012 local elections, FLN and RND had won between them the majority of seats.

Whole lists have also been declared invalid because “the administration has rejected signatures, due to minimal errors related to the transcription of names from Arabic to French”, also denounced the head of the MSP , Abdelmadjid Menasra. Or because voter ID numbers had been misreported, or mentions placed in the wrong box.

The ruling parties did not respond to the attacks, but announced their participation in all 1,541 communes and 48 departments of the country.