Algeria. At least 130 people – most police, military and militiamen but also a number of civilians – were killed during the year in police-military violence and the armed Islamist group al-Qaeda’s organization in the Islamic Maghreb. The bloodiest attack occurred on August 19, when 43 people, most of them applicants to a police school, were blasted to death five miles east of Algiers.
Parliament voted for a constitutional amendment on November 12 that would allow President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to be re-elected in March 2009 for a third term in office. According to the previous constitution, the president was only allowed to hold his post for two periods of five years.
In June, Bouteflika appointed Ahmed Ouyahia, leader of the large regime-friendly party National Democratic Assembly (RND), as new prime minister, a post he also held in 2003-06. He replaced Abdelaziz Belkhadem, who instead became Minister without Portfolio and President Bouteflika’s personal representative.
On a visit by France’s Prime Minister François Fillon in the country. June 21-22, the countries agreed on enhanced cooperation on nuclear energy expansion in Algeria and on military-industrial cooperation.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of DZ in general and in geography as Algeria in particular.
Algeria was declared independent on July 5, 1962, and by the end of the year elections were held for the Constituent Assembly. But the FLN stood without a coherent political program, and the personal, political and ethnic contradictions within the liberation front now turned into an inner power struggle. The alliance between the political bureaucracy leader, Ahmed Ben Bella, and the chief of staff, Houari Boumedienne, came to represent the victorious trend. Ben Bella was elected president in 1963 and reaffirmed his position at the party congress in 1964. But Ben Bella inherited a political and economic chaos after some 900,000 Europeans fled in a few months in 1962. and other values were in many cases destroyed. The Algiers occupied the colony properties, Units that were collectively led by the workers themselves. Ben Bella wanted to further develop the national revolution into a socialist revolution, with the main elements being “workers’ rule” and the state’s takeover of the means of production. However, the nationalization of private property affected both national and foreign property and small as well as large properties. At the same time, the “workers’ government” came under bureaucratic control and lost much of its opinion. Ben Bella was also charged with inability to clean up the administrative chaos that existed and to build too strong personal leadership.
Race against Ben Bella
The dissatisfaction of the bourgeoisie and the army grew, and a group around Boumedienne headed a bloody coup on June 19, 1965. Ben Bella was arrested and placed in long-term isolation arrest. The coup was then called the “historic recovery” of the revolution, while the Ben Bella period had brought the revolution into a dead end. However, the Boumedienne takeover of power meant concessions to the bourgeoisie regarding the nationalization of private property – including in that some nationalized property was given back to its former owners. The army had supported the coup, and an alliance now arose between the landowners, the army and the state apparatus.
Boumedienne launched an accelerated industrialization program based on the export of liquid oil and natural gas. There was an economic expansion, which was not reflected in the countryside, however. The population grew faster than food production and Algeria went from being food exporting to being food importing. In the cities, strikes erupted.
Houari Boumedienne died in December 1978. In 1976 a new constitution had been adopted and in 1977 representatives had been elected to the National Assembly. They now appointed Colonel Chadli Bendjedid as new president. The FLN’s 4th Congress in January 1979 almost unanimously elected Bendjedid as party leader and reaffirmed his presidential position. The new president initiated a policy of relaxation. Ben Bella who had been in solitary confinement for 14 years. The ban on travel abroad was lifted, taxes were lowered and restrictions on the construction of private housing were removed. The large state companies began to be divided into smaller units. The restructuring of inefficient government enterprises was encouraged and private companies encouraged.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Algeria in 2008 was 35,977,344, ranking number 34 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.650% yearly, and the population density was 15.1055 people per km2.