News24

State newspapers hail Algerian vote

2012-05-11 16:26

Algiers - Algeria's government newspapers printed special Friday editions to hail legislative polls they said confirmed the country's democratic credentials and choice of stability.

The government announced a turnout of 42.9% in Thursday's vote, an improvement on the previous parliamentary polls held in 2007 that contrasted sharply with low voter interest during the campaign.

"If there's a winner on this Algerian spring day, it's undoubtedly the people," El Moudjahid wrote in a front-page editorial.

It said the turnout showed the love Algerians have for their country.

"In their millions, Algerians projected a good image of democracy, proving to the world that they are not disconnected from political life," the daily said.

Horizons, another pro-government newspaper, said the vote showed an "appeased and reconciled Algeria... diametrically opposed to those who wreak chaos and support interference".

Many Algerians and observers had predicted that ever deeper mistrust, especially among the country's majority of young people, could lead to an even lower turnout than the historical low of 35% recorded in 2007.

Algeria responded to the democratic revolts sweeping the region with a package of reforms President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said were the "dawn of a new era" but his critics argued only consolidated the old system.

During the campaign, Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said the so-called Arab Spring was a "plague" that had resulted in "the colonisation of Iraq, the destruction of Libya, the partition of Sudan and the weakening of Egypt".