Around 24% of Algeria’s eligible voters turned out in Sunday’s constitutional referendum, according to the election commission.

“Voter turnout in the referendum on constitutional amendments reached 23.7%, or 5.5 million out of 24.5 million eligible voters,” Mohamed Charfi, the head of the Independent National Elections Authority, told a press conference late Sunday.

Sunday’s voter turnout was considered the lowest in Algeria’s electoral history.

The referendum was held amid restrictions as part of measures to stem the spread of coronavirus and absence of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who was hospitalized in Germany. 

The constitutional changes were proposed by Tebboune, a move that was rejected by the opposition on the ground that the referendum lacks national consensus.

The changes include limiting the president’s terms to only two and expanding the power of the prime minister.

Tebboune was elected president in December after the resignation of his predecessor Abdelaziz Bouteflika as a result of mass popular protests against his rule.

Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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