Algeria: an independent deputy as head of the new assembly

An independent deputy, Brahim Baughli, was elected president of Algeria’s new National Assembly, which officially took office on Thursday following the June 12 legislative elections, a historic restraint.

Fifty-year-old Dr. Baughli, who was elected independently from the province of Gharada (South), got 295 votes.

He was well ahead of Ahmed Sadok, an Islamist deputy of the Peace Society Movement (MSP), representative of the prefecture of Cliff (North-West), who received only 87 votes.

The National People’s Assembly, the lower house of parliament, has 407 representatives. Its president is the fourth person in the state after the President of the Republic and the presidents of the Senate and Constitutional Council.

The June 12 legislative election was won by the National Liberation Front (FLN, in power), with 98 seats, followed by independent President Abdelmadjid Tebboune (84), MSP (65) and rallied for parties close to power.

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“There are a lot of issues. The first is the rehabilitation of the legislative institution that has been distorted due to old practices,” a young FLN deputy, Zohir Naseri, who admitted that his party – linked to the FLN’s autocratic rule – told AFP. Former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika – was responsible for voter apathy.

The June 12 vote was marked by a record abstinence (77%) in a country rocked by a serious political crisis since the start of the Hirak popular uprising in 2019 against a backdrop of general repression.

These elections were rejected by part of the opposition and Hirak, who called for a radical change in the political “system” since independence in 1962.

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The new assembly is almost exclusively male because only 35 women (out of 8,305 candidates) were elected due to the abolition of the quota system introduced in 2012 by Mr Bouteflika, compared to 146 previously.

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