The election campaign has been met with indifference as Algerians grapple with a pandemic-hit economy.
Algerians have begun voting in local elections seen as key in President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s push to turn the page on the two-decade rule of late president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
The vote for municipal and provincial councils launched on Saturday sparked little public interest despite official campaigns urging Algerians to “make their mark”.
Tebboune, members of his family as well as the army’s chief of staff and other government officials were among the first to vote.
Campaigning had been muted despite calls by authorities on Algerians to take part if they “want change” and “institution building”.
“Nothing will change,” said Omar, an engineer who said he would not cast a ballot.
Yacine, a teacher, said he would be voting for rivals of the current Algiers mayor “even if I have no illusions” that they will be better.
Candidates traveled in caravans to meet voters, but the campaign overall has met widespread indifference.
Algerians “do not have the heart to vote when for the majority of them the daily bread and the carton of milk becomes problematic for them, because of the collapse of purchasing power,” said sociologist Nasser Djabbi.
Polling stations opened at 8:00 am (0700 GMT) and are scheduled to close at 7:00 pm (1800 GMT).