ALGIERS - Results of an Algerian parliamentary election to be announced on Friday were likely to hand an unprecedented share of seats to moderate Islamists, easing pressure for change in a country left behind by last year's "Arab Spring."
But many people were mistrustful of promises from the ruling elite - in power uninterrupted since independence 50 years ago - that it was embarking on genuine democratic reform.
A strong performance for Islamists would bring Algeria, which supplies about one fifth of Europe's natural gas imports, into line with Arab neighbors who have seen Islamists come to power after last year's uprisings.
In contrast to countries such as Egypt and Tunisia, the Islamists seeking office in Algeria are firmly part of the establishment, have no radical agenda and are unlikely to try to undo the ruling elite's grip on power.
Stay on top of the news - get the Jerusalem Post headlines direct to your inbox!