Voters queued before polling station opened in Algeria on Friday, (10 December) to vote in the country's first presidential election in 13 years.
GV Mosque in Algiers
SV PAN Algerian flag TO polling station in suburbs
CU Sign "Bureau de Vote"
GV People queueing outside polling station (4 shots)
SV INTERIOR Woman placing vote in ballot box
CU Husband and wife voting (2 shots)
SV People inside polling station
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Background: Voters queued before polling station opened in Algeria on Friday, (10 December) to vote in the country's first presidential election in 13 years. The result is expected to give virtually unanimous endorsement for the only candidate, the current President, Houari Boumedienne.
SYNOPSIS: The election follows the adoption last month of a new constitution. That gives Mr. Boumedienne even greater powers and when he's elected he will be Head of State, and head of the armed forces, the government, national defence and later of his party, the National Liberation Font.
The election was preceded by dozens of demonstrations in favour of Mr. Boumedienne in all parts of Algeria. Telegraph wires to the capital, Algiers, have been humming for weeks with messages of support for his candidature form almost every organised group of any size in the country. Polling statistics are expected to give more than a 91 percent turnout and almost a one hundred percent endorsement for Mr. Boumedienne. Mobile polling units were sent out to reach the nomadic tribesmen in Algeria's desert fringes.
One unusual feature of the voting was the large turn out of women, which officials have attributed to the warm weather. In the past, the tendency has been for men to vote on behalf of their womenfolk.
Mr. Boumedienne became president after a bloodless soup in 1965. His election is part of a restructuring of domestic politics. The process strengthen the ruling party, while allowing for a measure of decentralization without loosening the administration's overall grip.