ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria on Friday declared a 44.27 percent turnout in municipal elections and a government minister said the ruling party had been victorious.

Interior Minister Daho Ould Kablia, reading the results of Thursday's vote at a news conference, said the outcome was in line with expectations. "The results were foreseeable," he said.

The government had said it wanted to achieve a turnout of 40-45 percent.

The North African state was hoping to strengthen the credibility of a political system that has survived the wave of Arab Spring uprisings without major protests but has failed to meet popular hopes for reform.

(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; editing by Andrew Roche)