Distrust of government, apathy loom over Algerian elections

Algerians are voting in parliamentary elections the government hopes will give it a mandate as it struggles with low oil prices, dismal job prospects and Islamic extremism.

Voter apathy — and even a potential boycott — are worrying the government. Analysts say bribery scandals during the campaign have deepened long-running distrust of politicians.

A key question is whether President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, rarely seen in public since a 2013 stroke, will make an appearance to vote.

A total of 63 parties and many independent lists are competing for 462 seats in the lower house of parliament. The parties have struggled to come up with enough female candidates to meet a law that requires 30 percent of the next parliament to be women.