News24

Polls: Algerian ruling party triumphs

2012-05-16 11:57

Algiers - Algeria's constitutional council on Tuesday released the definitive results of last week's legislative polls, which saw the former single party tighten its grip on power and the Islamists lose ground.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's National Liberation Front took 221 of the enlarged national assembly's 462 seats, according to results slightly adjusted from the preliminary figures published on Friday.

Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia's National Democratic Rally, a party close to the military and loyal to the president, garnered 70 seats, constitutional council president Tayeb Belaiz said on state television.

The two allied parties thus hold a comfortable majority of 291.

Green Algeria, a moderate Islamist alliance of three parties, only managed 47 seats, after predicting in the run-up to the 10 May vote that it would emulate Islamist parties in neighbouring countries and take top spot.

The constitutional council also revised the turnout upwards to 43.14% of the 21.7 million-strong electorate.

The regime's electoral surge bucked a regional trend of the Islamists who recorded major breakthroughs in neighbouring Tunisia and Morocco, as well as in Tunisia.

Many Algerians and observers however say the results - from the presidential coalition's dominance to the relatively high turnout - are completely fabricated.

The campaign was marked by deep voter disaffection, especially among Algeria's youth, which cannot understand why a state sitting on foreign currency reserves of around $200bn does not create more jobs.