Algeria election: Governing coalition wins parliamentary vote

Algerian Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui announces results of parliamentary elections in Algiers 5 May 2017. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui announced the results on national TV

Algeria's governing coalition has retained its majority in parliamentary elections, official results show.

The National Liberation Front (FNL) won 164 seats in the 462-seat lower house with its ally, the National Democratic Rally (RND), on 97.

Turnout was just over 38%, the interior ministry said, reflecting widespread disinterest among voters.

The poll took place amid deep economic gloom and uncertainty over the health of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Mr Bouteflika's FNL party has dominated the country's politics since independence in 1962.

On Thursday, the 80-year-old leader voted from a wheelchair in Algiers, in a rare public appearance since a 2013 stroke.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ailing President Bouteflika made a rare public appearance to cast his ballot

Announcing the results on national television, Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui said there had been "an exemplary atmosphere" during the election.

"The Algerian people have proved that they insist on their voices being heard," he said.

Final results must be confirmed by the constitutional council following any appeals.

Correspondents say many Algerians are disillusioned with the political system which is largely presidential and gives the National Assembly only limited powers.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption There was little sign of enthusiasm among voters

The rule of President Bouteflika has been criticised for corruption and a lack of freedom, even though he has overseen a period of relative stability and prosperity following a decade-long civil war in the 1990s.

A collapse in oil prices has hit the country's economy badly and led to austerity measures being imposed.

Unemployment is high, particularly among Algeria's youth, and poverty remains widespread.

More than 23 million people were eligible to vote for 11,334 candidates from 50 different political parties, including opposition Islamist alliances, in Thursday's elections.

Algerian lawmakers are elected for a five-year term.

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