Secular Algerian Party To Boycott Elections

Published February 17, 2012 6:27PM (EST)

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — A secular party in Algeria has announced it will boycott elections in May.

Rally for Culture and Democracy party chief Said Saadi said Friday the elections would be a "hoax" and the assembly chosen could just be dissolved by the new president set to be elected in 2014.

The party's power base is the ethnically Berber Tizi-Ouzou region east of the capital. It boycotted elections in 2002, but ran in 2007, gaining 19 seats in the 390-person assembly and 3.36 percent of the vote.

A statement issued by the party accused security services of preparing to inflate turnout figures and vote results. It also predicted that Algeria would still be swept by the pro-democracy unrest witnessed elsewhere in the region, but largely absent in this oil-rich North African nation.

By Salon Staff

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