Algeria’s former ruling party won the most seats in parliamentary elections as all-time low turnout showed deep skepticism over promises of a “new Algeria” after two years of unrest in the Opec member.
Participation was about 23% in the vote, which delivered 105 of 407 parliamentary seats to the National Liberation Front (FLN) after protesters and more than a dozen parties boycotted the ballot. The lack of enthusiasm was a seeming rebuke to President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s pledge of a political road map that would replace the previous system with a new constitution and assembly.
Tebboune was elected in 2019 in a disputed vote after mass protests forced his predecessor Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign following two decades in power. “What a huge mess,” prominent commentator Abed Charef, founder of El Khabar daily, said after the results were announced.
The pouvoir, as the country’s government, military and business elite is called, “is going around in circles while the country stagnates, institutions are desperately empty and the protest movement is in tatters.”
The moderate Islamist Movement of Society for Peace won 64 seats, almost double their results a 2017 parliamentary vote, while the Democratic National Rally, widely seen to be close to the pouvoir, took 57 seats, down from 100.
Independent candidates who accounted for over half of the total, fared poorly, while men won 91% of the assembly’s seats, according to the results announced by the elections authority chief, Mohamed Chorfi.