ALGIERS – The governing National Liberation Front (FLN) and National Rally for Democracy (RND) were the big winners in this week’s municipal and regional elections, Algeria’s interior ministry announced on Friday.
In total, the two parties won majorities in 1,054 of the 1,541 Popular Municipal Assemblies.
The FLN, led by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, will control of 603 assemblies, compared with 451 for Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia’s RND.
In the 48 Popular Provincial Assemblies, the FLN took 711 seats to 527 for the RND.
The rest of the seats in the municipal and regional bodies were shared among a dozen parties representing government allies, moderate Islamists and leftists.
Interior Minister Nuredin Bedui told a press conference that turnout for Thursday’s municipal and regional elections reached 44.92 percent and 46.83 percent, respectively.
Both figures reflects a significant increase over the levels of the previous local and regional balloting in 2012.
The campaign, which ended last Sunday, went unnoticed by most of the population, overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the possibility that Bouteflika – seriously ill since 2013 – will opt for a fifth term in 2019.
Algeria is suffering from a prolonged economic slump that has multiplied the number of people trying to migrate to Europe, many without visas.
The North African nation’s economy has yet to recover from the abrupt fall of global oil prices in 2014.