Algeria vote a step towards reform

2012-05-12 18:29

Algiers - European Union observers on Saturday gave a qualified endorsement to an Algerian parliamentary election which handed victory to the ruling party, bucking the trend of the "Arab Spring" revolts.

Some opposition forces expressed suspicions there had been manipulation of Thursday's vote. The authorities denied this.

Jose Ignacio Salafranca, head of the EU's observer mission in Algeria, said there were shortcomings in some technical aspects of the election but there were "as many positive points as there were weak points.

"This election constitutes a first step on the path to reform which should lead... to a deepening of democracy and human rights," he told a news conference.

The National Liberation Front (FLN), the party of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, won 220 seats in the 462-seat parliament.

The RND party, led by Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, was in second place and a moderate Islamist alliance with links to the ruling establishment came third, according to the official results.

Analysts had expected the Islamists to win the election, That would have brought energy exporter Algeria closer into line with the changes in countries such as Tunisia and Egypt in the wake of last year's insurrections.

Thursday's election was the first time Algeria's authorities have invited observers from the EU to monitor a vote. The invitation was seen by diplomats as a sign Algeria was committed to a more transparent election.

Asked about allegations of vote-rigging, Salafranca said Algeria had a mechanism in place to expose any abuse, and if it did happen, it would be up to the judicial system to decide what action to take.

He said he was concerned that the Interior Ministry, which administers elections, had refused to give his observers free access to the national electoral role.

In past elections, evidence has emerged of the same people being registered to vote in several places, creating the potential for ballot-rigging.

The observers also noted there was a need to build up voters' trust in the political system, a reference to the low turnout. Over half of the electorate stayed away on Thursday, with many saying their vote would change nothing.

"This election represents an important stage. We would like to encourage the pursuit of democratic reforms in the near future," said Tokia Saifi, a member of the European parliament who took part in the observation mission.

Read more on:    eu  |  abdelaziz bouteflika  |  algeria  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Travel
 

LOL treadmill fail!

Watch this hilarious clip! We think this man should rather be running outside this summer!

 
 

I love summer.24

Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos
7 drinks you need to make this party season

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

15% off LEGO

Save 15% when you buy 2 or more Lego toys. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.