Algeria parties agree to show female faces19/04/17Government
Algerian political parties have agreed to show female candidates’ faces after some posters displayed blank avatars instead, the state news agency says.
Parties in Bordj Bou Arréridj Province had been showing hijabs surrounding blank spaces alongside photos of male candidates.
On 18 April the election authorities gave parties two days to display photos or be removed from the vote.
An official said the practice was illegal.
Hassan Noui of the Independent High Authority for Election Monitoring (HIISE) said: “This kind of encroachment is dangerous; it is not legal and it opposes all laws and traditions.
“It is every citizen’s right to know whom he will vote for.”
He said at least five parties including the Socialist Forces Front (FFS) had not been showing female candidates’ faces on posters.
One candidate, Fatma Tirbakh, from the National Front for Social Justice Party in the eastern Ouargla Province, appeared as a blank female avatar on Ennahar TV in a discussion on the issue.
“Displaying my photo is important, I believe. But I come from a southern region. Honestly speaking, it is hugely conservative … it is because of this that my own photo is not used.
“In all honesty, the family did force me not to show my photo on TV, but they do not have a problem with my face being on a poster,” she said.
Parties are obliged to field female candidates under a 2012 law requiring women to create between 20% and 50% of candidates on electoral lists.
FFS official Hassen Ferli blamed the party’s communications team in Bordj Bou Arréridj for the “regrettable” posters.
“The FFS vigorously condemns this practice which is incompatible with the party’s values,” he said in a statement carried on local media.