Algeria 'will have a divided parly'

2012-04-24 18:04
Algiers - Algeria's next parliament will be divided as no single party has enough support to win a majority in the 10 May legislative elections, the interior minister said in an interview published on Tuesday.

The vote is seen as a test of the reforms promised by the government to avert the outbreak of Arab Spring uprisings that brought down entrenched regimes in neighbouring Tunisia and Libya.

"I don't believe that one party will be able to reach a level [of support] allowing them to obtain a majority," Daho Ould Kablia told the Arab language Ennahar daily.

The 462 seats in the next national assembly "will be scattered between the parties", he said.

He then criticised some political groups for vowing to flood the streets in protest if their party does not win a majority.

Three Islamist parties, who merged ahead of the vote to form the Green Algeria alliance, have threatened to pull out of the process if they find concrete evidence of fraud.

Kablia charged that some groups have recklessly raised the prospect of fraud "to justify their failure" once the votes are counted.

Opposition groups have consistently accused the government of electoral misconduct since the multi-party system was introduced in 1989.

Algiers has invited nearly 500 foreign observers to monitor the vote, including from the European Union and the United Nations, in a bid to boost the credibility of the process.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power since 1999, responded to the uprising in Tunisia and subsequent simmerings of revolt in Algeria by allowing new political parties, new seats in parliament and boosting government salaries, among other reforms.

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