THEhe local elections which took place at the end of November were presented by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who succeeded Abdelaziz Bouteflika in 2019, as the “last step for the building of a modern state” after the end of eventful reign of his predecessor, forced to resign under the pressure of pro-democracy protests by the hirak, before dying in September. The hirak calls for the dismantling of the system of governance in place since independence in 1962. The authorities say that the main demands of the movement have been met. Following the local elections, the National Liberation Front (FLN), the leading political force in the Algerian parliament, obtained a narrow victory in the local elections on Saturday, marked by a new breakthrough by independent candidates.
What happened at the polls
The former single party won 5,978 seats at the national level and an absolute majority in 124 out of the 1,541 municipalities in the country, according to preliminary results released Wednesday by the president of the Independent National Election Authority (Anie), Mohamed Charfi. The FLN thus lost the absolute majority in 479 of the 603 municipalities it controlled during the previous mandate. However, he kept a comfortable relative majority in 552 municipalities, which he could only administer with the support of his allies of the nationalist current, in particular the National Democratic Rally (RND).
The RND, which won 4,584 seats, obtained an absolute majority in 58 municipal popular assemblies (APC, municipal councils) and a relative majority in 331 municipalities.
The independent candidates come in third position with 4,430 seats and an absolute majority in 91 APC, thus confirming the breakthrough achieved during the early legislative elections in June where they came second, behind the FLN.
The Front des forces socialistes, the oldest opposition party, secured an absolute majority in 47 municipalities, notably in Kabylia, its stronghold, and a relative majority in 65 other municipalities.
In the Departmental Assemblies, the FLN came first with 471 seats in 25 of the 58 wilayas (prefectures) in the country, but with a relative majority. It is followed by the independent candidates who snatched 443 seats in 10 wilayas and the RND which obtained 336 seats in 13 wilayas.
The participation rate in these elections, in which some 24 million Algerians were called to vote, peaked at around 35%. It is nevertheless up sharply compared to the participation rates recorded during the early legislative elections in June, when only 23% of those registered had voted.