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Algerian Election Declared Fair

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Issue: 18 Section: International News Geography: Africa Algeria Topics: elections

May 28, 2004

Algerian Election Declared Fair

(Algiers) Bruce George, designated monitor of the Algerian elections on behalf of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), has declared that the reëlection of President Bouteflika by an 83% majority was a fair and legitimate expression of the electorate's wishes. Although Mr. Bouteflika's main rival, former Prime Minister Ali Benflis, has claimed "massive fraud" in the landslide win, Mr. George is calling the vote "one of the best conducted elections, not just in Algeria, but in Africa and much of the Arab world."

Although Mr. Bouteflika was expected to win the presidential election, his eight and a half million-vote lead was a far more commanding victory than anyone had predicted. Mr. Bouteflika's supporters claimed public approval for his amnesty for surrendering Islamic militants and his talk of national reconciliation following years of turmoil were the main reasons for his win.

The Algerian elections were monitored by over 120 foreign observers, including members from the Arab League, the African Union, the EU, OSCE, and the UN. Europe was particularly interested in seeing an election win by Bouteflika, who's stabilizing reforms have reduced refugees to the continent and contented the large Algerian population in France, as well as aided conditions for Europe's continued economic expansion into north Africa.

» BBC: Observers praise Algerian voting

» World Tribune: U.S. praises Algerian elections

» NY Times: Islam and Democracy: Algerians Try to Blaze a Trail

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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