Algerian parliament elects independent lawmaker as speaker

·1-min read
People walk past the building of the lower parliament chamber in Algiers

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria's parliament elected an independent lawmaker for the first time on Thursday to the powerful post of speaker for the next five years, following last month's national election in which non-affiliated candidates performed well.

Ibrahim Boughali, 58, won 295 votes against 87 votes for his opponent Ahmed Sadouk from the Islamist Movement of Society for Peace (MSP) party.

Independent candidates obtained 78 seats in June's legislative election, behind National Liberation Front (FLN), long the biggest political party in Algeria, which won 98 seats in the 407-seat lower house of parliament.

The former ruling party FLN and its coalition partners had dominated the North African country's assembly for decades.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, elected in December 2019 to succeed Abelaziz Bouteflika who stepped down after mass protests demanding the departure of the ruling elite, has vowed to carry out political reforms including giving parliament more powers.

He has also promised economic reforms to reduce Algeria's reliance on oil and gas amid a financial crisis caused by lower energy revenues, the main source of state finances.

(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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