Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Algeria .. 5

In December 1991 the Front Islamique du Salut, a broad coalition of Islamist groups, dominated the first of two rounds of legislative elections. Fearing the election of an Islamist Government, the authorities intervened on 11 January 1992, cancelling the elections. Bendjedid resigned and a High Council of State was installed to act as Presidency. The FIS was subsequently banned, triggering a vicious civil insurgency between its armed wing, the Armed Islamic Group, and the armed forces in which over 100,000 are thought to have died. The Armed Islamic Group declared a ceasefire in October 1997. Algeria held elections in 1999, which were won by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Bouteflika focused on restoring stability to the country following his election and announced a ‘Civil Concord’ initiative, approved in a referendum, under which many political prisoners were pardoned, and several thousand members of armed groups were granted exemption from prosecution under a limited amnesty which was in force up to 13 January 2000. The AIS disbanded and levels of insurgent violence fell rapidly. The Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat (GSPC), a splinter group of the Group Islamic Armée, continued a terrorist campaign against the Government.
Following a wave of protests in the wake of popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, Algeria officially lifted its 19-year-old state of emergency on 24 February 2011. The country's Council of Ministers approved the repeal two days prior. Several pieces of legislation were enacted, dealing with political parties, the electoral code and the representation of women in elected bodies. In April 2011, Bouteflika promised further Constitutional and political reforms.

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