In Sidi Mhamed, a drab satellite town southwest of Algiers, residents are struggling to make ends meet, stay safe and secure a better future for their children. Few have any hope that Thursday’s legislative election will improve their lives. The sense of disillusionment with the political process is palpable. A few party billboards and some scraps of graffiti on apartment block walls are the only reminder that a nationwide election is just days away.
Hlima, in her sixties, said she would not vote “for MPs with a mind-boggling salary who do nothing but raise and lower their hands to vote and don’t care about the people.”
She used to live in the upscale Algiers neighbourhood of Hydra but was relocated to the dormitory town when the state decided to re-develop the land her home was on.
She and her husband live in one of around 3,000 apartments in the town which sprang up six years ago on fields 18 kilometres (11 miles) southwest of Algiers.