Algerian legislative election, 2012

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Algerian legislative election, 2012
Algeria
2007 ←
10 May 2012 (2012-05-10)
→ 2017

All 462 seats to the People's National Assembly
232 seats are needed for a majority
Turnout 43.14%
  First party Second party Third party
  Abdelaziz Belkhadem.jpg Ahmed Ouyahia.jpg
Leader Abdelmalek Sellal Ahmed Ouyahia Bouguerra Soltani
Party FLN RND Green Alliance
Last election 136 seats, 23.0% 61 seats, 10.3% 60 seats, 15.6% (MSP+Nahda+Islah)
Seats won 208 68 49
Seat change Increase 72 Increase 7 Decrease 11
Popular vote 1,324,363 524,057 475,049
Percentage 17.35% 6.86% 6.22 %
Swing Decrease 5.6 Decrease 3.4 Decrease 9.4

Prime Minister before election

Ahmed Ouyahia
RND

Elected Prime Minister

Abdelmalek Sellal
FLN

Seal of Algeria.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Algeria

A legislative election was held in Algeria on 10 May 2012.[1] The incumbent coalition, consisting of the FLN of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the RND of Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, held on to power after winning a majority of seats. The Islamist parties of the Green Algeria Alliance lost seats.[2][3]

Background[edit]

Following events in the Arab Spring, Algeria faced initial large scale protests but have since dwindled.

An election in 1991 that resulted in a plurality for the Islamic Salvation Front was annulled by the military amid fears of an Islamist takeover causing the Algerian Civil War.

Parties[edit]

Workers' Party[edit]

The Workers' Party (PT) announced its participation on 29 February. Louisa Hanoune has previously clarified that the party had worked with the Socialist Forces Front and would look towards an alliance between the two parties. Louisa Hanoune has become the most popular woman in Algeria after the party came second in the Algerian presidential election, 2009. Hanoune said the party's manifesto would be similar to previous elections, including improved employment opportunities, equal rights for women, the elimination of the Algerian Family Code, making Tamazight the second official language, eliminating laws that condemn people for their religion, sexuality or other discriminatory acts and make Algeria a pioneer in production.[vague] She also criticized the creation of new parties that have emerged in January and has asked who funds these new parties.[4]

National Rally for Democracy[edit]

The National Rally for Democracy has announced its participation in the election. Ahmed Ouyahia is the party's general secretary and the incumbent prime minister. Ouyahia and Hanoune exchanged strong words in the Algerian media. Hanoune complained about his decision of the military record to the voters, showing that as evidence of possible fraud.[5]

Socialist Forces Front[edit]

The Socialist Forces Front (FFS) has announced its participation on 29 February. Hocine Aït Ahmed wrote to the National Council saying that "participation in these elections is a tactical necessity for the FFS, which falls in line with (its) construction strategy of peaceful democratic alternative to this despotic regime, corrupt and destructive. [The purpose of the party] does not lie in a quota of seats to reach [but] in mobilising political[ly] and peaceful[ly] in our party and our people." The party had boycotted the two previous elections because of what it called systematic electoral fraud in favour of the ruling parties.[6]

National Liberation Front[edit]

So far, the National Liberation Front (FLN) has not made any official publication of who will be their prime ministerial candidate. The FLN is the biggest party in Algeria and includes President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. There are rumours that its candidate representing the FLN will be Khalida Toumi, the incumbent Minister of Culture.[7]

Green Algeria Alliance[edit]

On 8 March, three Algerian Islamist parties (Movement of Society for Peace, Islamic Renaissance Movement and the Movement for National Reform) formed the Green Algeria Alliance. Its secretary general is Bouguerra Soltani. Sultani said that the purpose of this alliance is to consolidate the voter base of the three political parties.[8]

Gallery of candidates[edit]

Boycott[edit]

The Socialist Forces Front decided to forgo a decision to boycott the election after international monitors were invited to observe the process. However former Prime Minister Sid Ahmed Ghozali urged a boycott on the grounds that the election would be "a foregone conclusion.[9] Social media was abuzz with many of the country's youth calling for an abstention from voting.[10]

Monitors[edit]

Algeria allowed foreign electoral monitors for the election. The monitors would include the Carter Center, the National Democratic Institute and other NGOs from the European Union and the Arab League.[11] Overall, there were over 500 international observers. The government also called the election the "Algerian Spring" billing it as the freest election in over 20 years.[12]

Results[edit]

2012 Algerian legislative election by province

Almost 22 million are eligible to vote for 44 parties following legalisation of most parties this year. Voter turnout was expected to be low, possibly less than 35% from the last election.[10] Bouteflika called for a high participation. The turnout was 42.36%.[13]


e • d Summary of the 10 May 2012 People's National Assembly of Algeria election results
Parties Leader Votes % Seats +/–
National Liberation Front Abdelmalek Sellal 1,324,363 17.35 208 +72
National Rally for Democracy Ahmed Ouyahia 524,057 6.86 68 +7
Green Algeria Alliance (MSPNahdaIslah) Bouguerra Soltani 475,049 6.22 49 –11
Front of Socialist Forces Hocine Aït Ahmed 188,275 2.47 27 +27
Workers' Party Louisa Hanoune 283,585 3.71 24 –2
Algerian National Front Moussa Touati 198,544 2.60 9 –4
Justice and Development Party Abdallah Djaballah 232,676 3.05 8 +8
Algerian Popular Movement Amara Benyounes 165,600 2.17 7 +7
New Dawn Tahar Benbaibeche 132,492 1.74 5 +5
Front of Change 173,981 2.28 4 +4
National Party for Solidarity and Development Dalila Yalaqui 114,372 1.50 4 +2
National Front for Social Justice 140,223 1.84 3 +3
Ahd 54 Ali Fawzi Rebaine 120,201 1.57 3 +1
Union of Democratic and Social Forces 114,481 1.50 3 +3
National Republican Alliance Redha Malek 109,331 1.43 3 –1
Future Front 174,708 2.29 2 +2
Dignity Party 129,427 1.70 2 +2
National Movement of Hope 119,253 1.56 2 ±0
Algerian Rally 117,549 1.54 2 +1
Republican Patriotic Rally 114,651 1.50 2 ±0
Party of Youth Hamana Boucharma 102,663 1.34 2 +2
Algerian Light Party 48,943 0.64 2 +2
Party of Algerian Renewal 111,218 1.46 1 –3
El-Infitah Movement Naima Farhi 116,384 1.52 1 –2
Movement of Free Citizens 115,631 1.51 1 +1
National Front of Independents for Understanding 107,833 1.41 1 –2
National Democratic Front 101,643 1.33 1 ±0
Others 1,306,656 17.12 0 –22
Independents 671,190 8.79 18 –15
Valid votes 7,634,979 100.00
Invalid votes 1,704,047 18.25
Total 9,339,026 100 462
Registered voters/turnout 21,645,841 43.14
Sources: El Watan, Adam Carr's Election Archive, IPU

Reactions[edit]

Domestic

Interior Minister Daho Ould Kablia announced the result saying that "the election has reinforced the Algerian people's attachment to the values of peace and stability."[14]

  • Green Algeria Alliance: Hamas leader Bouguerra Soltani commented: "We are surprised by these results, which are illogical, unreasonable and unacceptable". He attributed the result to "those who would like to return to a single party rule." Soltani estimated that the result would "send the Algerian Spring backwards" and announced that the Islamists would consider boycotting parliament or to ally with the left-wing and liberal opposition against the government.[2]
  • Algerian National Front: Party leader Moussa Touati claimed "blatant fraud" and announced to contest the result before the constitutional court.[15]
Supranational
  • Arab League: Hanafi Wajih, the head of the observer team, said that "the election was free and transparent and the Algerian people have expressed their choice without coercion."[12]
  •  European Union: Ignacio Salafranca, the head of the EU observer team adjudged the election as "a first step in the reform process which will need to be backed, after a constitutional review, by a deepening of democracy". He criticised that international monitors had been denied access to a national voters' register, which contradicted pledges of transparency. However, he welcomed the overall calm atmosphere in which the elections took place.[15]
  •  Organisation of Islamic Cooperation: The OIC described the election as "successful and democratic" and praised that they had been held "in an organised, transparent and peaceful manner."[15]
States
  •  United States: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed the election saying that "the high number of women elected [and the election itself is] a welcome step in Algeria's progress toward democratic reform."[15]

Aftermath[edit]

The new parliament's opening session was boycotted by 49 MPs from the Green Algeria Alliance and 11 MPs from two other parties[which?] on the grounds that they claimed the election was fraudulent and "a return to the era of single party rule. We decided to withdraw from the first session of the National Assembly and protest officially against the results of the ballot." Lakhdar Benkhelaf of the Islamist Front for Justice and Development, a part of the Political Front for the Safeguard of Democracy, said the boycott was "a question of principle."[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Electoral Calendar – international elections world elections". Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Schemm, Paul (11 May 2012), "Algerian Islamists fall to govt party in election", Associated Press 
  3. ^ Faucon, Benoît (11 May 2012), "Algerian Ruling Party Beats Islamists in Vote", The Wall Street Journal 
  4. ^ L'Expression – Le Quotidien – Louisa Hanoune candidate à Alger. Lexpressiondz.com. Retrieved on 10 May 2012.
  5. ^ Inscription – Connexion. Elwatan.com (19 April 2012). Retrieved on 10 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Algérie : le FFS ira aux législatives". Le Figaro. Retrieved on 10 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Ces ministres qui boudent la députation Après la polémique sur le cumul des mandats". Liberté Algérie. Retrieved on 10 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Les islamistes se mettent au vert Le msp, ennahda et el-islah lancent leur alliance pour les législatives" Liberté Algérie. Retrieved on 10 May 2012.
  9. ^ Le FFS ira aux élections : « le boycott du prochain scrutin ne constitue pas un meilleur choix que la participation ». Siwel.info. Retrieved on 10 May 2012.
  10. ^ a b Algeria prepares for parliamentary elections – Africa. Al Jazeera English (4 October 2011). Retrieved on 10 May 2012.
  11. ^ Algérie: Le FFS, principal parti d'opposition, décide de participer aux législatives du 10 mai. 20minutes.fr. Retrieved on 10 May 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Is Algeria immune to the 'Arab Spring'?". Al Jazeera. 14 May 2012.
  13. ^ Algerians sound off on election boycott – Features. Al Jazeera English (4 October 2011). Retrieved on 10 May 2012.
  14. ^ "Islamists routed in Algeria's parliamentary elections". The Guardian. May 11, 2012
  15. ^ a b c d Mojon, Jean-Marc (13 May 2012), "US hails Algerian election despite suspicions", AFP 
  16. ^ Algerian MPs boycott parliament session - Africa - Al Jazeera English