President's men set to sweep Algeria election

Close allies of President Liamine Zeroual swept to victory yesterday in Algeria's new parliament after the first general election in more than five years of bloodshed, blamed by officials on Muslim fundamentalists.

The result, ensuring the President's paramount powers should be largely unchallenged in parliament, brought cries of foul from parties trailing the dominant National Democratic Rally (RND).

Interior Minister Mustapha Benmansour said the RND, formed only two months ago, took 155 seats in the 380-seat assembly. It eclipsed the Islam-oriented Movement of a Peaceful Society (MPS) which won 69 seats and third-placed National Liberation Front (FLN), with 64 seats, which as the former sole ruling party had run the state for nearly three decades. Turnout was 65.49 per cent. Reuters - Algiers