ALGIERS Algerians are turned off and tuned out when it comes to today's legislative elections, Le Quotidien d'Oran reveals. The Algerian newspaper expects just a fraction of the country's estimated 21 million voters to cast their ballots in the election, which will decide the next People's National Assembly.

Here's a basic rundown on the election:

Who is voting? More than 48,000 polling stations are open today to welcome more than 21 million voters. But the abstention could be huge: in 2007, it reached 64%. By midday, only 15% of Algiers population had voted, according to the country's interior minister.

Who are the candidates? There are 25,800 candidates representing 44 political parties and 186 independent lists, plus the Green Algeria Alliance, an Islamist bloc. Up for grabs are 462 deputy seats. The winners will serve five-year terms.

What needs doing after the elections? The incoming deputies will have the difficult task of rewriting the Constitution and changing the whole functioning of the country.

Why are today's elections so important for Algeria? In the wake of an Arab Spring that failed to shake Algerian politics, these elections are key step toward establishing democracy as a fundamental value of Algerian culture. The election will also determine who will be the next prime minister.

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