Dubai: Algerians living in Dubai flocked to the Algerian consulate to cast their votes on the last day of elections.
Zine Eddine Bouzid, the Vice Consul of the Algerian Consulate in Dubai said 3,507 voters have registered this year, an increase from the 2012 election where 2,095 people registered.
The Vice Consul said there are 10,000 Algerians living in the UAE, out of which around 8,000 reside in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
“The elections have been ongoing since Saturday, but usually people flock in on the last day, which is today. I hope that all 3,507 voters show up as casting their vote is vital in determining the country’s fate and by voting they will have a hand in their country’s progress,” said Bouzid.
There are six candidates this year, out which only one is a woman. They include: Abdul Aziz Belaid, Ali Benflis, Abdul Aziz Bouteflika, Mousa Touati, Louisa Hanoune and Ali Fawzi Rebaine.
To ensure transparency of the voting process, Bouzid said an election committee that represents the people as well as supervisors will be available throughout the voting process. They will also be present when the votes will be tallied.
The election process will stop at 9pm today and the results should be determined tomorrow by 12pm.
Feryal Bekhtaoui, a 44-year-old Algerian architect who has been living in the UAE for the last 16 years, said she never misses the chance to vote.
“It essential for a citizen to cast their vote even if they are not living in the country because we Algerians must have a hand in making sure that only a competent president will be in charge of the country.”
Feryal said she is looking for a candidate who will provide safety and stability in the country. She also hopes that the next president will be a problem solver who is aware of what the his people want.
Another Algerian voter, was 73-year-old Fatima Zohra Bin Zayan who said she was has been voting since the 1960s. Fatima Zohra, who has been living in the UAE for the past seven years, believes that voting is the duty of all Algerians.
Umm Khalid another voter who has been living in the UAE for the last three years said: “To me voting means democracy and I am happy to have this right, which many people are deprived from.”