Gov’t and Islamists seems to dominate Algeria polls

Gov’t and Islamists seems to dominate Algeria polls

ALGIERS - The Associated Press
Political parties released preliminary estimates for Algeria’s parliamentary election on May 11 indicating strong showings by the historic government party and an Islamist alliance.

Based on tallies from individual polling stations across the country, the former ruling party, the National Liberation Front, known by its French initials FLN, will take over 100 seats, while the Islamist “Green Alliance” will get slightly less in the 462-seat assembly. Algerians voted for a new parliament on May 10, in an election authorities billed as a response to the Arab Spring pro-democracy movement sweeping the region. The contests, featuring international observers, are believed to have been the freest in years in this oil-rich North African nation.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has spent the past several months urging Algerians to come out and vote, alternating promises of bold post-election reforms after elections with warnings that foreign powers might invade Algeria if there is a low turnout. Turnout out hovered at 30 percent in major cities, such as the capital, Algiers, but the government announced that the final rate of participation for inside and outside the county was 42.9 percent of the 21.6 million registered voters.

State media celebrated the figure as a major improvement over the 36 percent turnout in 2007.