Algeria's ruling coalition wins polls

Algeria's governing coalition has won an overall majority in parliamentary elections marked by poor turnout.

Algeria's ruling coalition wins polls

Algeria's governing coalition has won an overall majority in parliamentary elections marked by poor turnout.

The results were announced by Noureddine Yazid Zerhouni, the Algerian Interior Minister, on Friday.

Zerhouni said that the National Liberation Front (FLN) won 136 seats, the pro-business Rally for National Democracy (RND) won 61 seats, and the moderate Islamist Movement for Society (MSP) and Peace won 52.

He said turnout in Thursday's poll to elect a new 389-seat lower house of parliament for the next five years was 35 per cent, compared with 46 per cent in the last polls in 2002.

Political analysts said that the turnout was a record low since the first multi-party elections in 1990.

The presidency is the most powerful office of state in Algeria, a major oil and gas exporter, and Algerians tend to say it is the incumbent, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the Algerian president, rather than parliament who holds the key to a better future.

The FLN, which led the 1954-62 guerrilla war for independence from France and governed during the 1962-1989 period of one-party rule, is lead by Abdelaziz Belkhadem, the Algerian prime minister, a close ally of Bouteflika.

Violence

The poll was the third legislative election since an Islamist revolt erupted after the cancellation of a national election in January 1992, which a now-outlawed Muslim fundamentalist party was poised to win.

Up to 200,000 people have been killed in political violence since then.

The bloodshed has diminished sharply in recent years, but lingers on.

A triple bombing claimed by al-Qaeda killed 33 in Algiers on April 11.

One policeman was killed when two small bombs exploded in the eastern city of Constantine on Wednesday.

Last Mod: 18 Mayıs 2007, 15:43
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