The draft Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation has been approved by 97.36% of the recorded votes, Algerian Interior Minister Noureddine Yazid Zerhouni announced on Friday. He added that almost 80 percent of the country's 18.3 million eligible voters took part.
The approval means granting a partial amnesty for hundreds of Islamist rebels intended to end more than a decade of civil war. Some opposition groups and human rights bodies accused the Algerian president of using the charter to consolidate his power. Critics also lamented a lack of public debate and accused Bouteflika of trying to whitewash years of agony.