- The over hundred thousand refugees from Western Sahara living in Algerian camps are to hold municipal and national elections, starting on Wednesday. Voters will be able to choose between different Polisario candidates to bodies of the exiled state of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, which is a member of the African Union (AU).
Municipal elections at the level of the Dairas and elections for national institutions are to start this Wednesday in two stages in the Sahrawi refugee camps, indicated a close source of Polisario Front's Political Orientation. Polisario is Western Sahara's independence movement, fighting for liberation from Morocco, but also in total political control of the exiled republic and the refugee camps.
According to the programme - of which the Polisario-controlled camps-based news agency 'SPS' received a copy - these elections are to take place in two stages: the first includes the wilayas - or provinces, camps - of Dakhla and El Aaiun from the 22 to the 24 November, the second includes the wilayas of Smara, Aousserd and the 27 February School from the 26 to the 28 November.
Composed of the members of the parliament, and some members of government in charge of the control and organisation of the elections, the Sahrawi parliament's Election Committee is set to organise conferences in each wilaya, during which the assemblies will have to elect an electoral committee for each Diara, which will have to receive the candidatures, control the good organisation of the vote and declare the results.
As the only political movement in the camps is the Polisario, and all refugees are considered members of the liberation front, only candidates from that movement are accepted. The central government has great influence over which candidates are nominated, leading many to question the democratic structures of the Sahrawi republic.
According to 'SPS', the second day of this operation will be marked by the start of the public vote, which will be pursued in each Daira for 2 to 3 days, to end in the 4th day by the declaration of the results and the closing of the political conference by the reading of the final report of the committee and the reception of possible protests.
Voters will have to elect the "presidents of the Dairas" - or mayors of municipalities - and the members of municipal councils as well as the representatives of national institutions, which include Sahrawi mass organisations - that also are organised below the Polisario umbrella.
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