Low-Turnout Referendum Passes Constitutional Changes in Algeria

Algerians have approved a revised constitution, the country's electoral commission says. Around 3.3 million voters backed the changes, while 1.6 million voted against them. National Independent Elections Authority chief Mohamed Charfi said that the turnout was just 23.7% of the electorate - a historic low for a major vote. The changes approved in the referendum include presidential term limits, new powers for the parliament and judiciary and a clause to let the army intervene outside Algeria's borders. Deutsche Welle reports that President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who is hospitalized in Germany following reported cases of Covid-19 among his staff, touted the reform process as a way to satisfy the demands of members of the Hirak street protest movement. However, the group had called for a boycott of the referendum, which they said did not go far enough.

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