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The amendments to the constitution include reforms to the election of the prime minister, term limits, changes in the Judiciary, and the possible creation of a Constitutional Court.
Algeria approved the proposed reform of the Constitution with the lowest electoral participation rate in history, as only 23.7 percent of 24 million citizens with the right to vote went to the polls on Sunday.
According to the National Independent Authority for Elections (ANIE), 3,355,513 out of 5,636,172 voters supported a reform that was widely criticized by the Hirak protest movement, which considers that the constitutional reform proposals do not meet the aspirations of the people.
The number of citizens who voted in favor of the reforms serves President Abdelmedjid Tebboune’s administration to exceed the 50 percent support required by the Constitution. However, affirmative votes represent less than 10 percent of the 42.2 million people living in Algeria.
While Tebboune has billed the reform as "the birth of the new Algeria," constitutional experts and opposition leaders warn that the changes are modest and do not reflect Hirak's wishes.
Algeria’s referendum is an attempt to "suppress" the almost two years protest movement and "turn the page" with a constitutional "quick fix" that Hirak has never claimed.
Since Feb. 2019, this massive movement has called for the dismantling of the military regime that has governed Algeria since this country's independence from France in 1962.
The amendments to the constitution include reforms to the election of the prime minister, term limits, minimal changes in the judiciary, the possible creation of a Constitutional Court, and the authorization of the intervention of the Army in peacekeeping missions abroad.
On Sunday, it was known President Tebboune, who had been in voluntary isolation because of a case of COVID-19 among his entourage, was transferred to a hospital in Germany.