Algerian Islamist calls for Tunisia-style revolt over vote results

AFP , Sunday 13 May 2012

Algeria's Islamist Front for Justice and Development issues calls for popular uprising in wake parliamentary polls it says were rigged in favour of ruling party

An Algerian woman casts her ballot during parliamentary election at a polling station in Algiers .(photo: Reuters )

An Algerian Islamist leader said Sunday that a Tunisian-style revolt was the only option after polls he charged were fraudulent and threatened a mass pullout of the smaller parties from parliament.

"These results closed the door on change by the ballot box and the Tunisian option is all that's left for those who believe in change," Abdallah Djaballah, who heads the Front for Justice and Development, told AFP.

His party mustered only seven seats out of the 462 up for grabs in the national assembly, according to provisional results for Thursday's legislative election.

The former single party, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's National Liberation Front, tightened its grip on power by securing 220 seats.

Djaballah had hoped to benefit from the so-called Arab Spring effect and emulate the electoral gains recorded by Islamist parties in neighbouring countries.

But Algeria bucked the regional trend, largely preserving the political status quo in polls that even saw Islamist parties lose ground, with all seven parties contesting the vote managing only a combined 59 seats.

"These elections are a farce. We dot not recognise these results... They create a situation of insecurity and instability," Djaballah said.

"Sooner or later, the only option will be the Tunisian scenario," he said, in reference to the founding uprising of the Arab Spring which toppled long-time Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011.

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