Algeria History: The Bouteflika Era

By | August 14, 2021

After Zéroual’s resignation, A. Bouteflika became in April 1999 (with early elections)elected as the new president (confirmed in office in 2004), who announced the modernization of Algerian society and submitted a peace plan to end the civil war (including legalization of Islamist groups that renounce armed struggle), which was approved by parliament in July 1999 and through a referendum was approved in September 1999. In the run-up to the parliamentary elections on May 30, 2002, there were massive violent clashes v. a. in the Berber regions where more than 100 people died. With a low turnout, the FLN won an absolute majority. After the elections, the GIA announced that it would continue its armed struggle for the establishment of an Islamic state of God. In particular the militant GSPC (abbreviation for Groupement Salafiste pour la prédication et le combat,Al-Qaida around O. Bin Laden carried out terrorist acts. At the beginning of 2007 the GSPC renamed itself to Organization al-Qaida au Maghreb islamique (German »al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb«).

On September 29, 2005, President Bouteflika left hold a referendum on a “Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation”. The document was intended to put an end to the civil war which, according to various estimates, had claimed between 50,000 and 150,000 lives. The core was a partial amnesty for Islamist fighters who had already been convicted and those who would surrender to the authorities after the referendum. According to the official final result, 97.4% of the voters approved the charter. On February 27, 2006 the government passed a law to implement the charter. According to itypeusa, Algerian opposition activists and international human rights organizations criticized the fact that the charter guarantees all security forces impunity for crimes they have committed and that critical remarks about the “national tragedy” of the civil war are threatened with punishment. After attacks on army units in January and April 2007, “al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb” carried out a series of serious suicide attacks in the same year, which left numerous victims. This is how it happened, among other things. on December 11, 2007 in Algiers on attacks against the seat of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Algerian Supreme Court. In the parliamentary elections on May 17, 2007, the previously ruling coalition of FLN, RND and MSP won. The “Presidential Alliance” had 249 seats. In 2007, the previously ruling coalition of FLN, RND and MSP was victorious. The “Presidential Alliance” had 249 seats. In 2007, the previously ruling coalition of FLN, RND and MSP was victorious. The “Presidential Alliance” had 249 seats.

On November 12, 2008, the Algerian Parliament passed a constitutional amendment that lifted the limitation on the term of office of the President, thereby paving the way for President Bouteflika paving the way for a third term. He won the presidential elections on April 9, 2009 with around 90.2% of the vote. The terrorist activities of “al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb” could still not be stopped. Therefore, in 2010 Algeria, Mali, Niger and Mauritania decided to form a joint high command to combat cross-border terrorism. A sharp rise in food prices and high unemployment triggered unrest among the population in January 2011. The government responded with a price guarantee for staple foods. In view of the demands for political liberalization, the cabinet decided in February 2011 to lift the state of emergency that had existed since 1992. The MSP withdrew from government responsibility at the beginning of 2012. In the parliamentary elections on May 10 In 2012, the FLN was able to win 208 of the 462 mandates. The coalition partner RND had 68 seats. The opposition parties questioned the results and the official turnout. The newly formed government relied on FLN, RND, TAJ and MPA.

President Bouteflika had to be treated in a Paris hospital for several weeks in 2013 as a result of a stroke. Despite his poor health, he ran again in the presidential election the following year. On April 17, 2014, the population confirmed him in office with 81.5% of the votes. Several opposition parties had called for a boycott of the elections, which were accompanied by allegations of fraud. In 2015, violent clashes broke out between members of the Berber minority and the Arab majority population in the centrally located oasis town of Ghardaïa. The conflict resulted in numerous deaths and injuries. On February 7, 2016, parliament decided on a constitutional revision (including limitation of the possibility of re-election of the president), which came into force on March 6, 2016. In the parliamentary elections on May 4th In 2017, only 35.4% of those eligible to vote took part. The FLN suffered losses, but remained the strongest force in parliament with the gain of 161 seats. The co-ruling party RND improved to 100 seats. The third strongest force, winning 34 seats, was the Islamist Alliance HMS.

After weeks of mass demonstrations, the sick and decrepit President Bouteflika announced the end of his 20-year term in office on April 2, 2019. Bouteflika had already withdrawn from the public in 2013 after a stroke. Abdelkader Bensalah (* 1941), President of the House of Lords, assumed the highest office on a transitional basis according to the constitution. The presidential election, which was initially scheduled for 4 July 2019, was postponed indefinitely due to a lack of candidates.

The presidential election on December 12, 2019 was the third attempt in 2019 to elect a new head of state. The former head of government Abdelmadjid Tebboune (* 1945) was elected president with a low voter turnout of 40%. After the election results were announced, protesters critical of the government showed their dissatisfaction in the street. Abdelaziz Djerad (* 1954) was appointed as the new head of government. On November 1st, 2020, the people of Algeria voted for a new constitution. Members of the anti-government protest movement Hirak had called for a boycott. The referendum was an election promise made by the current President Tebboune been. With the new constitution he had promised more social and economic rights, as demanded by the Hirak protest movement. The constitutional amendments are intended, among other things, to limit the president’s term of office to two terms of five years each.

Algeria History - The Bouteflika Era