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Algeria, Government

Under the constitution adopted in 1976, Algeria became a socialist republic. The constitution declared the National Liberation Front (Front de Liberation Nationale, FLN) as the sole legitimate political party. A revised constitution in 1989 abandoned the commitment to socialism and allowed the formation of other political parties. After it became clear that the Islamic Salvation Front (Front Islamique du Salut, FIS), an Islamist party, would gain a legislative majority in the country’s first multiparty parliamentary elections in 1992, the elections were annulled and the country’s unicameral legislature, the National People’s Assembly, was suspended. Algeria was ruled by a High Council of State from 1992 until 1994, when the council appointed a president as head of state. After a constitutional referendum, the constitution was again revised in 1996, most significantly to ban political parties based solely on ethnicity, religion, or another separatist feature, and to create a new, bicameral legislature. Elections and appointments for the new legislature took place in 1997.

 

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