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Mass boycott and police clashes as Algeria holds disputed election

Low turnout reflects widespread disaffection with election pitting regime loyalists against each other

An opposition call for a mass boycott of presidential elections in Algeria appeared to have succeeded on Thursday, as polls shut after a day marked by mass demonstrations, police clashes and a wave of arrests.

The turnout in the election appeared to be around 20% – a victory for the country’s pro-democracy protest movement, which has derided the vote as a sham.

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