Ruling coalition wins Algerian parliamentary election

AP News
Posted: May 05, 2017 8:55 AM
Ruling coalition wins Algerian parliamentary election

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — The ruling National Liberation Front (FNL) and its coalition ally have won a majority of seats in Algerian parliamentary elections marked by a low turnout.

The Interior Ministry said on Friday that about 38 percent of 20 million eligible to vote actually cast ballots. Analysts said bribery scandals during the campaign have deepened long-running distrust of politicians.

Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui told a press conference that FLN, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's party, won 164 of the 462 seats in the lower house of parliament.

Former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia's Rassemblement National Democratique — FLN's coalition ally — finished second with 97 seats.

The Islamist party, Movement for the Society of Peace (MSP), joined forces with the Front for Change, securing 33 seats.

Oil and natural gas drive Algeria's economy, accounting for 30 percent of its GDP. Low oil prices have hammered the government, and youth unemployment hovers around 25 percent. Young Algerians tend to look to Europe for their futures, and the French election on Sunday has been getting far more attention than the legislative vote in the former French colony.