May 10, 2012, midnight
Algerian President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA’s National Liberation Front and its allies captured a majority of votes in parliamentary elections last Thursday. The NLF won 221 seats while the allied National Democratic Rally, of Prime Minister Ahmed OUYAHIA, captured 70. A coalition of Islamist parties, known as the Green Alliance, won only 48 seats. President BOUTEFLIKA increased the size of parliament for this election, from 389 to 462 seats. The move was part of a set of reforms, which included registering 23 new political parties and requiring parties fill a certain percentage of thier lists with female candidates. As a result of the gender quota, 143 seats in the new chamber will be held by women, making them 32 percent of the body. Despite these moves, however, turnout was low and opposition parties accused the government of fraud.