Votes counted in Algeria parliamentary elections

Electoral officials count votes in Algiers. Photo: 4 May 2017Image copyright

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First official results are expected on Friday morning

Votes are being counted in parliamentary elections in Algeria.

The ruling National Liberation Front (FNL) is expected to retain its majority despite deep economic problems and uncertainty over the health of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The 80-year-old leader voted from a wheelchair in Algiers, in a rare public appearance since a 2013 stroke.

Observers say there is little sign of enthusiasm among voters. Officials results are expected on Friday.

More than 23m people were eligible to vote for 11,334 candidates from 50 different political parties, including opposition Islamist alliances, in Thursday’s elections.

Algerian lawmakers are elected for a five-year term in the 462-seat lower house.

Algeria election – what you need to know

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Ailing President Bouteflika has been in power for nearly 20 years

The rule of President Bouteflika has been criticised for corruption and a lack of freedom, even though he has overseen a period of relative stability and prosperity following a decade-long civil war in the 1990s.

But recent economic difficulties caused by falling oil prices have seen austerity imposed on the country.

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