The new constitution approved by Algerian voters will increase civil liberties and usher in a new era of democracy in this once staunchly socialist nation, the interior minister said Friday.

More than 70 percent of the 10.4 million voters in Thursday's balloting voted in favor of the new constitution, said the government.About 80 percent of the North African nation's 13 million voters cast ballots, clearing the way for a multi-party political system for the first time since independence from France in 1962.