Monday, 14 May 2012

Algeria: FLN wins parliamentary elections

According to official results, Algeria's National Liberation Front (FLN) has won Thursday's (10th May) parliamentary elections. The party won 220 out of 463 seats, while its partner in government, the came second with 68 seats.

An Islamist alliance group came third winning 48 seats, but it has made accusation of fraud. The vote had been billed as Algeria's most free and fair, but has been marred by widespread voter indifference.

Algeria officials said turnout was 42.9 per cent, much higher than initially expected. There has been speculation, however, that the figure may be inflated. According to AFP news agency, the three Islamist parties forming the Islamist Green Algeria Alliance, which saw their combined share of the seats drop, said the election was fraudulent.

Professor Abdulali Rezaki of Algiers University told Reuters that he thought 85 per cent of voters would boycott the elections. The reason he gave for the boycott was because “parliament has become a place which people hate. It has become an institution working under the rule of administration instead of carrying out its legislative and supervision missions…This is the election of people who struggle to rule, not the ordinary public.”

The Algerian authorities were keen to show that the voting process could be a democratic one, with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika approving the establishment of 23 new political parties before the vote.

The mood among Algerians seems to be a mixture of resentment and apathy. Most argue that 'elections have always been fraudulent, so why should this one be any different'. The flagrancy of the way in which these election results have been reportedly manipulated has, however, angered many.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, AFP

For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.

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