Algeria - Ruling Party Snubs Arab Spring To Win Election

Algeria on Friday declared its ruling party for the past 50 years the victor in a parliamentary election, going against the tide of the "Arab Spring" which has transformed its neighbours.
The governing elite in Algeria, which supplies about a fifth of Europe's imported natural gas, had promised reform and a new generation of leaders in response to last year's upheavals in the region, but the election preserved the status quo.

Interior Minister Daho Ould Kablia, who oversaw Thursday's election, said the National Liberation Front (FLN) would be the biggest party in the new parliament, with 220 of the 462 seats.
The FLN was the movement which fought for independence from French colonial rule and has been at the heart of power in Algeria ever since.
"There is no change," political analyst and writer Abed Charef told reporters. "Algeria has invented the force of inertia."
The official results showed that the FLN, whose honorary head is President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, had increased its share of seats to 47 percent from 34 percent.
Second place went to the National Democratic Rally (RND), with 68 seats. The RND is led by Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and was in second place to the FLN in the outgoing parliament.
The Green Algeria alliance, a grouping of moderate Islamist parties with links to the ruling establishment, was in third place with 48 seats.
In fourth was the secularist Front of Socialist Forces, Algeria's oldest opposition group, which ended over a decade of boycotts to run in the election.
The Interior Minister said people had chosen to back the FLN because it was a party they knew, and which offered a safe "refuge" from the turmoil in the region.
"The election has reinforced the Algerian people's attachment to the values of peace and stability," Interior Minister Ould Kablia told a news conference. "If the people have chosen the same parties who were in the previous parliament, it is their right to choose."
News Source: Reuters
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