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Algeria’s latest parliamentary elections on 4 May were marked by one of the lowest turnouts on record – just 35% - reflecting the population’s prevailing distrust in the country’s rulers. The outcome was widely anticipated, with dominant parties the National Liberation Front (FLN) and the National Rally for Democracy (RND) winning the majority of seats. But even if the polls’ results were considered something of a non-event, they are seen as key to ensuring a smooth transition to a post-Bouteflika era from 2019.
FLN LOSES GROUND
The FLN – President Bouteflika’s party which has dominated the political landscape since independence in 1962 – won 164 seats out of 462, less than the 221 it had in the previous 2012 polls. The FLN led by general secretary Djamel Ould Abbes lost ground to the benefit of the RND which won 97 seats, up from 70 five years ago. However, as the main state political formations, both the FLN and RND form the wider pro-government alliance. The RND, an administrative offshoot of the FLN, is led by Ahmad Ouyahia, who also heads the President’s Cabinet. (CONTINUED - 1061 WORDS)