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Algeria Politics

WikiLeaks December 2010 publication of US embassies' reports around the world revealed the superpower's knowledge of the economic scam among the dictatorships in the Arab world. The publication triggered demonstrations and other protests across the Arab world. The wave of protests later referred to as the "Arab Spring", which washed away US and EU long-standing allies in Tunisia and Egypt. In Algeria, the demonstrations started already on December 28, 2010. In Algeria, the triggering themes were unemployment - and especially youth unemployment -, housing shortages, economic corruption, inflation and the lack of democratic rights. During January, protests spread throughout the country. They evolved violently with the burning of businesses and public offices, and was met with similar violence by the regime. By the middle of the month, 3 protesters had been killed, 800 wounded and 1100 arrested. There in among many minors. At the same time, a wave of self-fire started after the Tunisian model. Up to the end of February, about 25 Algiers set fire to themselves in protest. Most in front of public buildings. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how DZ can stand for Algeria.

In Egypt, the protests forced the country's dictator, Hosni Mubarak, to resign on February 12, 2011. This led to a dramatic escalation of the protests in Algiers, but at the same time mobilized by the regime, which with 30,000 policemen prevented protesters from occupying the central 1 May place in the capital Algiers. At the same time, the regime met the protesters' most important demands: the abolition of the hated state of emergency. Over the next 2 months, the huge police bid in Algiers and concessions by the regime caused the protests to wane. In April, President Bouteflika promised constitutional amendments to strengthen representative democracy, and at the same time he promised amendments to the laws on elections, the media and political parties. However, the protests continued on a smaller scale throughout 2011 in Algiers and the rest of the country.

In May 2012, parliamentary elections were held. The election was won by the ruling party FLN, but the party once again declined and had to settle for 17.4% of the vote. Due. the electoral system could still occupy 208 of the 462 seats of the National Assembly (an increase of 72). In second place, the liberal RND received 6.9% of the vote - a decline of 3.4%. It gave 68 seats. In third place, green electoral cooperation gained 6.2% of the vote - a decline of 9.4%. It gave 49 seats. 24 smaller parties and 18 independent candidates were also given seats. The election was monitored by about 500 international observers and was termed the freest to date in the country's history. No parties but many young people called for a boycott of the election via social media, but the turnout increased from 35% in 2007 to 42.4%. The lowest was in the capital.

153 death sentences were handed down during 2012, but none were enforced. The country has had a moratorium on executed death sentences since 1993.

On January 16, 2013, a group of partisans led by Mokhtar Belmokhtar and affiliated with al-Qaeda occupied the Tigantourine gas field in Amenas near the border with Libya. The occupiers took nearly 800 workers and salaried workers on the spot as hostages. They demanded that France cease its military operation against AQIM in northern Mali, launched 5 days earlier. Three days later, Algerian special forces stormed the gas field and freed the hostages. By then, however, 37 foreign hostages and 29 partisans had been killed. Three surviving partisans were tried in Algeria. Belmokhtar was a veteran from Afghanistan, where he had fought against the Russian occupation in the 1980s.

In April 2014, Bouteflika was re-elected to a 4th term with 81.5% of the vote. In second place, independent candidate Ali Benflis came in with 12.2%. Both the Islamic opposition and several secular parties called for a boycott of the elections. Turnout fell to 51.7% from 75% in 2009. Bouteflyas' supporters celebrated the election victory with fireworks, while Benflis accused Bouteflika of massive electoral fraud. After the election, Bouteflika re-appointed Abdelmalek Sellal as prime minister.

Despite the abolition of the state of emergency in 2011, the human rights situation remains serious, with significant restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly. Critical critics and journalists who write critically continue to be threatened or arrested. Torture continues to be widespread at the country's police stations.

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