INTRODUCTION: Algerians went to the polls on Friday (25 February) to elect their first parliament for 12 years in the latest measure by President Houari Boumedienne to give constitutional legitimacy to political institutions.
INTRODUCTION: Algerians went to the polls on Friday (25 February) to elect their first parliament for 12 years in the latest measure by President Houari Boumedienne to give constitutional legitimacy to political institutions. The President has been ruling by decree since an army coup brought him to power in June 1965, at the head of a revolutionary council.
SYNOPSIS: Moslems took time out from their election fever to attend the weekly Friday congregational prayers at mosques throughout Algeria. In special supplications, many asked Allah to give guidance and wisdom to the nation's leaders so that the country could face the future in peace and confidence.
Voters in each constituency had a choice of three candidates but a were members of the National Liberation Front which is the only lawful party in the country. The candidates were carefully picked by government and party officials. The new Assembly will have no power to censure the government. It is only required to defend and consolidate what the government calls "socialist revolution." According to the constitution, the majority of the Assembly must be workers or peasants. It excludes businessmen or those who employ workers on their own behalf.
Thirty-six women were among the 783 candidates seeking election.
The elections to the 261-seat Assembly was the fourth popular vote in Algeria within a year. Algerians had already voted approval in referendums of a new national charter and the constitution. They also elected Colonel Boumedienne as President. He was the sole candidate and official results gave him 99.95 percent of the valid votes.