Oldest party wins most seats in voting for ‘new Algeria’

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria’s oldest party, previously thought to be on the wane, won the largest number of seats in weekend legislative elections, the country’s electoral authority announced Tuesday.

The National Liberation Front, or FLN, secured 105 of 407 parliamentary seats, according to the provisional results. Independent candidates, including young people new to politics and many others who broke away from the FLN, placed second, winning a total 78 seats.

The voting Saturday was meant to open the way to a “new Algeria” heralded by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to end an era of corruption and give the North African nation a new face. However, turnout was estimated after the vote at dismal 30% with the Hirak pro-democracy protest movement boycotting the elections, as did traditional opposition parties.

The moderate Islamist party that has been a mainstay in Algerian politics, the Movement for a Peaceful Society, won 64 seats, double the number it held previously. Another Islamist party will also be increasing its presence in the lower chamber of parliament, going from 12 seats to 40, Mohamed Charfi, head of the electoral authority, told a news conference.

A party which once shared the majority with the FLN, the National Democratic Rally, placed fourth with 55 seats, down from 100 in the outgoing parliament.

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