Country Listing

Algeria Table of Contents



Government: Revised constitution of February 1989, suspended by military government in January 1992, ended commitment to socialism embodied in National Charter and earlier constitutions. Political system based on strong presidential rule; provides in theory for multiparty system, separation of religious institution and state, and military subordination to civilian authority.

Politics: Liberalizing government of President Chadli Benjedid toppled by military in January 1992. Presidency replaced by military-dominated High Council of State. Emergency rule enacted to prevent national electoral victory by Islamist (fundamentalist) movement, spearheaded by Islamic Salvation Front. In January 1994, military named General Lamine Zeroual president; High Council of State abolished. Zeroual to rule in coordination with High Security Council. Political violence and terrorism endemic, including killings of numerous foreigners since 1992. Some legislative functions exercised by National Transitional Council, created in May 1994; 200-member body provided for political party, trade union, professional, and civil service representation.

Judicial System: Legal system derived from French and Arabic legal traditions and influenced by socialism. Supreme Court of four chambers reviews application of law by forty-eight provincial courts and lower tribunals. Civilian judicial system effectively replaced by military tribunals in January 1992.

Administrative Divisions: Forty-eight provinces administered by centrally appointed governors. In 1994 no elected assemblies existed at national, provincial, or communal level.

Foreign Relations: Policy founded on nonalignment, national self-determination, and support for Palestinian Liberation Organization in Arab-Israeli dispute. Membership in League of Arab States and Organization of African Unity. Relations with West improved during 1980s and early 1990s, primarily as result of expanding trade and increasing economic cooperation.

Data as of December 1993