Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika won a third-year term last April with a reported 90 percent of the vote!!!
We can only react with sullen DISDAIN, right?? another crooked election like all the other elections which had taken place in Algeria!
But how to promote Democracy in Algeria? How to promote Human Rights and the rule of law in the country in order to have a more secure environment?
We need to analyse the case of Algeria in a particular context: the colonial legacy, the threat of political Islam, and the impact of the political elite.
Algeria was a French colony from 1830 to 1954, when the War of Liberation began, and, after eight years of war, Algeria declared its independence in 1962. The major legacy of the colonial war and the war of Liberation was the strong, centralized state structure designed by the military and civilian elite, which affected the prospects for democratization in Algeria.
The supremacy of the military, an authoritarian government, the bureaucratic elite...
The military, the bureaucratic elite, and the PRESIDENT, form the three pillars of the centralized state structure... and power is centered in their hands!
The Algerian parliament is bicameral, consisting of a lower chamber, the National People's Assembly (APN), with 380 members and an upper chamber, the Council of Nation, with 144 members.
The APN is elected every 5 years. Two-thirds of the Council of the Nation are elected by regional and municipal authorities; the rest are appointed by the President.
The Council of the Nation serves a 6-year term with one-half of the seats up for election or reappointment every 3 years. Either the President or one of the parliamentary chambers may initiate legislation. Legislation must be brought before both chambers before it becomes law. Sessions of the APN are televised!
Algeria's central bank has some $140 billion in foreign exchange reserves, invested in treasury bills and central bank deposits abroad.
The finance ministry also has a hydrocarbon stabilization fund, known as the Fonds de Régulation des Recettes. According to finance minister, this has a dinar-denominated equivalent of about € 50 billion. It acts as a savings fund, helping ensure that the budget will balance if there is a hydrocarbon price crash, so that, for example, infrastructure projects can continue.
Everyone in Algeria knows that the country is far too dependent on using hydrocarbon exports to fund imports, which are often subsidized. Algeria, for example, is the world's largest importer of wheat, and Africa's largest importer of milk. This is despite vast tracts of unused farmland.
"Northwestern Africa, after all, was the breadbasket of the Roman Empire." (O'Neill Dominic, 2008).