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EU, US Congratulate Algeria on Elections

An election worker empties a ballot box to count votes after parliamentary elections at a polling station in Algiers, Algeria, May 10, 2012.
The European Union and the United States have endorsed Algeria's parliamentary elections as an important step toward reform, even as some opposition forces expressed suspicion that the vote was fraudulent.

The head of the EU observer team there, Jose Salafranca, criticized Algeria Saturday for not giving foreign observers free access to the nationwide electoral roll. He said officials running the elections had pledged more transparency.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulated Algerians on expressing "their will." She also applauded the high number of women elected.

Algeria's main ruling party, the National Liberation Front, won 220 seats in the 462-seat legislative body. The National Democratic Rally, known by French initials RND, finished second to give the pro-government alliance a comfortable majority.

Opposition parties say the vote was rigged, and have encouraged foreign observers to hold officials to account.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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