Politics of Algeria

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Politics of Algeria
السياسة الجزائرية
Emblem of Algeria.svg
National emblem of Algeria
Polity typeUnitary semi‑presidential constitutional republic
ConstitutionConstitution of People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
Legislative branch
Meeting placeNations Palce
Upper house
NameCouncil of the Nation
Presiding officerSalah Goudjil, President of the Council of the Nation
AppointerIndirect election
Lower house
NamePeople's National Assembly
Presiding officerSlimane Chenine, President of the People's National Assembly
AppointerDirect popular vote (two rounds if necessary)
Executive branch
Head of State
CurrentlyAbdelmadjid Tebboune
AppointerDirect popular vote (two rounds if necessary)
Head of Government
TitlePrime Minister
CurrentlyAbdelaziz Djerad
NameCouncil of Ministers of Algeria
Current cabinetThird Djerad government
LeaderPrime Minister
AppointerPresident of the Republic
HeadquartersGovernment Palace
Judicial branch
NameJudiciary of Algeria
Council of State
Chief judgeFarida Benyahia
Superior Committee of Justice
Chief judgePresident of the Republic
Constitutional Council
Chief judgeKamel Fenniche
Supreme Court
Chief judgeAbdelrrachid Tabbi

Politics of Algeria takes place in a framework of a constitutional semi-presidential republic, whereby the President of Algeria is head of state while the Prime Minister of Algeria is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the People's National Assembly and the Council of the Nation. A legacy of Algeria's bloody War of Independence from France (where an estimated 1.5 million Algerians were killed) is a powerful military and security apparatus that put a high value on secrecy.[1] Since 1988, parties other than the ruling FLN have been allowed and multiparty elections have been held, but freedom of political speech, protest and assembly is circumscribed,[Note 1] and the 2014 presidential election was boycotted by major opposition parties. Algeria has been called a "controlled democracy",[3] or a state where the military and "a select group" of unelected civilians—reportedly known to Algerians as "le pouvoir" ("the power")—make major decisions, such as who should be president.[4][5][Note 2]

Since the early 1990s, a shift from a socialist to a free market economy has been ongoing with official support.


The civil war resulted in more than 100,000 deaths since 1991. However, Algerians believe that the national death count was close to 3,000,000. Although the security situation in the country has greatly improved, addressing the underlying issues which brought about the political turmoil of the 1990s remains the government's major task. The government officially lifted the state of emergency declared in 1999.[7]


Under the 1976 Constitution (as modified 1979, and amended in 1988, 1989, and 1996) Algeria is a multi-party state. All parties must be approved by the Ministry of the Interior. To date, Algeria has had more than 40 legal political parties. According to the Constitution, no political association may be formed if it is "based on differences in religion, language, race, gender, or region."

Informal power[edit]

While many sources agree that the real power in Algeria is not held by its constitutional organs, they differ as to who/what does. According to the Economist magazine, the military is the primary powerbroker, along with "a select group" of unelected civilians. These "décideurs" are reportedly known to Algerians as "le pouvoir" ("the power"), make major decisions, including who should be president.[4] Adam Nossiter of the New York Times states "Algerian politics is still dominated" by men from the ruling party, the FLN,.[8] Moroccan-Italian journalist Anna Mahjar-Barducci, writing in Haaretz, insists the FLN "is a group of apparatchiks constantly fighting each other when they're not tending to the businesses ... with which they have rewarded themselves from their positions of power". According to Mahjar-Barducci, real power is held by "the military's Department of Intelligence and Security (DRS)."[9]

Executive branch[edit]

The head of state is the President of the republic, who is elected to a 5-year term, renewable once (changed by the 2008 Constitution to an infinite mandate but reinstated in 2016). Algeria has universal suffrage. The President is the head of the Council of Ministers and of the High Security Council. He appoints the Prime Minister who also is the head of government. The Prime Minister appoints the Council of Ministers.

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune Independent 19 December 2019
Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad National Liberation Front 28 December 2019

Parliament of Algeria[edit]

People's National Assembly[edit]

The People's National Assembly has less power relative to the executive branch than many parliaments and has been described as "rubber-stamping" laws proposed by the president.[10]

As of 2012 there were 462 seats in parliament. In the May 2012 election the government reported a 42.9% turnout, though the BBC reported that correspondents saw "only a trickle of voters" at polling places.[10] In that election 44 political parties participated with the ruling National Liberation Front winning more than any other group—220 seats—and an alliance of moderate Islamists coming in second with 66 seats. The Islamists disputed the results.[11]

Council of the Nation[edit]

Political parties and elections[edit]

In keeping with its amended Constitution, the Algerian Government espouses participatory democracy and free-market competition. The government has stated that it will continue to open the political process and encourage the creation of political institutions. More than 40 political parties, representing a wide segment of the population, are currently active in Algerian national politics. The most recent legislative election was 2012. President Bouteflika pledged to restructure the state as part of his overall reform efforts. However, no specifics are yet available as to how such reforms would affect political structures and the political process itself.

In the 2002 elections, there were 17,951,127 eligible voters, and 8,288,536 of them actually voted which made a turn out of 46.17%. Out of the ballots cast, there were 867,669 void ballots according to the Interior ministry and 7,420,867 which went to the various candidates.

Legislative elections[edit]

The most recent legislative election now is the 2017 one:

Party Votes % Seats +/-
National Liberation Front 1,681,321 25.99 164 –44
National Rally for Democracy 964,560 14.91 100 +32
MSPFC 393,632 6.09 33
Rally for Hope for Algeria 270,112 4.18 19 New
Future Front 265,564 4.11 14 +12
Algerian Popular Movement 241,087 3.73 13 +6
EnnahdaFJD 239,148 3.70 15
Workers' Party 191,965 2.97 11 –13
Socialist Forces Front 152,489 2.36 14 –13
National Republican Alliance 121,156 1.87 6 +4
Freedom and Justice Party 88,418 1.37 2
New Dawn 82,993 1.28 1
Dignity Party 81,180 1.26 3
Movement for National Reform 77,290 1.19 1
El Fath 69,063 1.07 1
Rally for Culture and Democracy 65,841 1.02 9 +9
National Front for Social Justice 63,827 0.99 1
Party of Youth 63,682 0.98 2
Movement of National Understanding 51,960 0.80 4
New Algeria Front 49,413 0.76 1
Independante El Wihda 42,757 0.66 3
Ahd 54 42,160 0.65 2 –1
Republican Patriotic Rally 40,645 0.63 2 0
El-Infitah Movement 38,061 0.59 1 1
National Struggle Front 34,695 0.54 2
Union of Democratic and Social Forces 33,372 0.52 1 –2
National Front for Freedom 31,976 0.49 1
Free Democratic Front 28,790 0.45 2
National Party for Solidarity and Development 28,617 0.44 2 –2
Party of Algerian Renewal 24,584 0.38 1 0
National Assembly Union 17,577 0.27 1
El Taouasol 16,334 0.25 1
National Union for Development 15,037 0.23 1
El Hillal 14,582 0.23 1
National Movement of Algerian Workers 14,369 0.22 1
Movement of Free Citizens 14,085 0.22 1 0
Equity and Proclamation Party 13,400 0.21 1
Hope and Work 12,803 0.20 1
Nidaa El Awfiaa 12,224 0.19 1
El Wafa Wa Tawassol 12,170 0.19 1
El Wihda Oua Ettadaoul 10,771 0.17 1
El Wafa 10,561 0.16 1
Voice of the People 9,831 0.15 1
Abnaa Echaab 9,427 0.15 1
El Ouancharisse 9,046 0.14 2
En Nadjah 9,019 0.14 1
El Ichrak 8,901 0.14 1
El Moubadara 8,662 0.13 1
Elamel 8,388 0.13 1
Al Kafaa Wal Masdakia 7,856 0.12 1
Old Ksar 7,149 0.11 1
Sawt Echaab 6,652 0.10 1
Izewran Independent List 6,402 0.10 1
El Amel 6,361 0.10 1
Independent Citizen Alternative List 5,977 0.09 1
El Darrouri 5,675 0.09 1
Forsane Ouargla 5,414 0.08 1
El Badr 5,161 0.08 1
El Noor 4,549 0.07 1
Citizen Initiative 4,309 0.07 1
Algerian National Front 615,130 9.51 0 –9
Other parties 0
Invalid/blank votes 1,757,043
Total 8,225,223 100 462 0
Registered voters/turnout 23,251,503 37.37
Source: Constitutional Council

Presidential elections[edit]

Candidate Party Votes %
Abdelmadjid Tebboune Independent 4,945,116 58.15
Abdelkader Bengrina El Binaa 1,477,735 17.38
Ali Benflis Talaie El Houriyate 896,934 10.55
Azzedine Mihoubi Democratic National Rally 617,753 7.26
Abdelaziz Belaïd El Moustakbal Front 566,808 6.66
Spoiled ballots 1,243,458
Disputed votes 11,588
Total valid votes 8,504,346 100
Total (valid + spoiled) 9,759,392
Registered voters and percent turnout 24,474,161 39.88
Source: APS

Administrative divisions[edit]

Algeria is divided into 48 wilaya (province) headed by walis (governors) who report to the Minister of Interior. Each wilaya is further divided into daïras, themselves divided in communes. The wilayas and communes are each governed by an elected assembly.


Algeria has more than 30 daily newspapers published in French and Arabic, with a total publication run of more than 1.5 million copies. Although relatively free to write as they choose, in 2001, the government amended the penal code provisions relating to defamation and slander, a step widely viewed as an effort to rein in the press. Government monopoly of newsprint and advertising is seen as another means to influence the press, although it has permitted newspapers to create their own printing distribution networks..

See also List of Algerian newspapers.

Future concerns[edit]

Population growth and associated problems—unemployment and underemployment, inability of social services to keep pace with rapid urban migration, inadequate industrial management and productivity, a decaying infrastructure—continue to plague Algerian society. Increases in the production and prices of oil and gas over the past decade have led to a budgetary surplus of close to $20 billion.[citation needed] The government began an economic reform program in 1993 which focuses on macroeconomic stability and structural reform. These reforms are aimed at liberalizing the economy, making Algeria competitive in the global market, and meeting the needs of the Algerian people.

International organization participation[edit]

AU, ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, AMU, ECA, FAO, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, International Maritime Organization, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, INTOSAI, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (applicant)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ On March 3, the prosecutor of Oued Essouf’s First Instance Tribunal charged [Rachid] Aouine with "inciting an unarmed gathering" under article 100 of the Algerian penal code. In his Facebook posting, he commented on an official announcement that law enforcement officers who staged protests will face disciplinary action, writing: "Police officers, why don’t you go out today to protest against the arbitrary decisions against your colleagues…, instead of controlling the free activists and the protesters against the shale gas?"[2]
  2. ^ "The Algerian military and security forces, that had stolen power early in the country’s post 1962 independence – and have clung to it until today – prefer to manage affairs and milk the country’s rich energy resources from behind the scenes, giving a democratic gloss to what for half a century has been little other than a military dictatorship."[6]


  1. ^ Kaplan, Robert D. (2007). Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts: The American Military in the Air, at Sea, and ... Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 180. ISBN 9780307472694. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Algeria: Arrested for Ironic Facebook Post". Human Rights Watch. March 8, 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  3. ^ DAOUD, KAMEL (May 29, 2015). "The Algerian Exception". New York Times. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b Algeria’s election. Still waiting for real democracy economist.com| 12 May 2012
  5. ^ Shatz, Adam (July 3, 2003). "Algeria's Failed Revolution". New York Review of Books. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  6. ^ Prince, Rob (October 16, 2012). "Algerians Shed Few Tears for Deceased President Chadli Bendjedid". Foreign Policy in Focus. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  7. ^ Chikhi, Lamine (2011-01-21). "Algeria army should quit politics: opposition". Thomson Reuters. Archived from the original on 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  8. ^ Algerian Election Results Draw Disbelief By ADAM NOSSITER nyt.com| 11 May 2012
  9. ^ A prolonged state of agony in Algeria writing in June 8, 2012| Haaretz,
  10. ^ a b Algeria votes in parliamentary elections 10 May 2012
  11. ^ Ruling Party Wins Big in Algerian Elections| voanews.com| May 11, 2012

External links[edit]