INTRODUCTION: The new Algerian Popular National Assembly -- elected last month -- held its inaugural meeting at the Palace of Nations in Algiers on Saturday (5 March).
SV: Palace of Nations in Algiers, Algeria.
CU: guard outside entrance.
SV INTERIOR: deputies to National Assembly in lobby.
SV: delegates seated in hall. (2 shots)
GV: President Houari Boumedienne enters hall.
SV: women deputies listening.
CU: deputy listening
SV: deputies listening.
CU: deputy speaking
SV deputies listening.
CU: President Boumedienne seated and listening.
SV: deputies -- listening.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The new Algerian Popular National Assembly -- elected last month -- held its inaugural meeting at the Palace of Nations in Algiers on Saturday (5 March). It is the country's first parliament for 12 years and it represents the latest measure by President Houari Boumedienne to give constitutional legitimacy to political institutions. The President has been ruling Algeria by decree since an army coup brought him to power n June 1965, at the head of a revolutionary council.
SYNOPSIS: The elections to the 261 ??? seat Assembly on the 25th of February was the fourth popular vote in Algeria within a year. Algerians had already voted approval in referendums of a new national charter and the constitution. They also elected Colonel Boumedienne as President. He was the sole candidate and official results gave him 99.95 per cent of the valid vote.
President Boumedienne arrived at the opening session of the parliament together with Mr Rabah Bitat, Minister of State, who was later elected the Assembly's President. Members of the Revolutionary Council and the cabinet also attended.
All the deputies are members of the National Liberation Front which is the only lawful party in the country. Eight women were elected to the Assembly. The Assembly has no power to censure the government. Its role is officially described as defending and consolidating what the government calls the "Socialist revolution".