Algeria's ruling party, the National Liberation Front, has been declared the winner of Thursday parliamentary election. A moderate Islamist alliance suffered losses, despite predictions that it would score well.
The National Liberation Front - known by its French acronym FLN - has been declared the winner of Algeria's parliamentary election, defeating the moderate Islamist "Green Alliance."
According to official results released on Friday the FLN, which has ruled Algeria for the past 50 years, increased its share of seats in the national assembly from 136 to 220. Its sister party in the previous government, the National Democratic Rally, took 68 seats. The two parties now form a majority in the 462-seat parliament.
Turnout was low as had been expected. Some estimates said that more than half of voters did not cast a ballot.
Meanwhile the Islamist Green Alliance came in a distant third, winning just 48 seats. It was a disappointment for the grouping of three moderate Islamist parties after predictions that they would score well in Thursday's election.
The Islamist alliance has denounced Friday's result, calling it fraudulent and dangerous for the country.
"There has been large-scale manipulation of the real results announced in the regions, an irrational exaggeration of these results to favor the administration parties," the Green Alliance said in a release.
"It exposes the people to dangers for which we do not want to take responsibility," the alliance added. It warned that Algeria's president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, would be held responsible.
'Vote for safety'
Interior Minister Dahu Ould Kablia rejected the accusations of electoral fraud, calling on the Islamist parties to substantiate their claims.
"There was no fraud," Kablia told a press conference. "If anyone has proof, they have 10 days to present it."
There is a long history of tension between Islamist parties and the ruling FLN in Algeria. In 1991, Islamist parties won parliamentary elections, which the government then annulled leading to a decade-long civil war in which some 200,000 people died.
"The 1991 elections was a vote to punish the FLN, in 2012 it was a vote for safety," said Kablia, adding that Algerians had seen the upheaval in neighboring Tunisia and Libya and opted for stability.
ccp,slk/jm (AFP, AP, Reuters)