The “National Liberation Front”… The story of “Bouteflika’s party”, which still leads the elections in Algeria

The National Liberation Front (formerly ruling) party in Algeria was able to win the early local elections that were organized on November 27, 2021, to maintain its leadership on the political scene in the country.

Prior to that, the party also won first place in the legislative elections that were held on June 15, 2021, despite the decrease in the number of seats it won compared to the previous elections.

The results of the legislative and then local elections confirmed that “Bouteflika’s party” is still rooted among Algerians, despite the popular movement that erupted in the country on February 22, 2019, calling for the overthrow of the regime and the dissolution of Bouteflika’s party and allied parties.

Origin, foundation and thought

– The birth of the National Liberation Front was linked to the struggle of the Algerian people against the French occupation (5 July 1830 – 5 July 1962).

– 1953: A split occurred in the ranks of the “Victory of Democratic Freedoms Movement” headed by Messali al-Hajj, which favored the supportive group within it to adopt the armed struggle for national independence.

– June 22, 1954: The formation of the National Liberation Front and its armed wing (the National Liberation Army) was announced.

– The Liberation Front, upon its founding, included multiple streams of different ideological trends that were in agreement on the goal of liberating Algeria from French colonialism.

– The Front adopts national principles such as Algerian unity, understanding and peace, and focuses in its orientations on reminding the Algerian resistance, which it considers its reference base.

– The Front established the “Group of 22”, then the “Committee of the Nine”, which was behind the bombing of the revolution of November 1, 1954.

1962: The Front assumed the reins of power after independence.

The political track.. the four stages

May 25, 1962: The National Council of the Algerian Revolution was held in Tripoli (the capital of the Kingdom of Libya at the time), and recommended that the front turn into a “strong mass party”, and that this be in a national conference to be held in Algerian territory after the restoration of national independence.

– The Front remained the single ruling party of the country since its independence until the declaration of partisan pluralism in Algeria in February 1989.

– The Front fought the battle to build the modern Algerian state as the only national political organization in the country.

The political history of the Liberation Front party can be divided into 4 stages:

– From July 1962 until June 1965: This stage witnessed the formation of a political office for the front, the emergence of the first constitution for Algeria known as the “1963 Constitution”, and the Algiers Conference was held during which it was approved to transform the front into a “vanguard party”, as well as the approval of Algeria Charter.

From June 1965 to December 27, 1978: in which the political and legislative powers were transferred to the Council of the Revolution led by President Houari Boumediene, and important achievements were made in the political, social and cultural fields, the nationalization of the hydrocarbons, mining and banking sectors, the implementation of a regional balance policy and development plans. And the dissemination of an educational and industrial base.

– This stage was marked by the remarkable dominance of the country’s president, Boumediene, at the expense of the front’s strength, and witnessed the organization of elections for municipal popular councils in 1967, states in 1969, and the National People’s Assembly in 1977, and the election of the president of the republic in 1977.

– In 1976, the Algerian people ratified the National Charter, which inspired a new constitution for the country.

– From December 1978 until October 1988: At this stage, a new president came to the country, Chadli Bendjedid, starting from January 1979, and witnessed the convening of the Fourth Congress of the Front Party and its Extraordinary Congress, and then the Fifth Congress, and the approval of a five-year plan for empowerment From continuing the development process, as well as reviewing the National Charter and its approval by the people on January 7, 1986.

The post-November 1988 era: One of its most important developments is the convening of the Sixth Party Congress, and the adoption of the idea of ​​political diversity in the party’s frameworks as a prelude to political pluralism sanctioned by the constitution of February 23, 1989, as well as the party’s participation in the first pluralistic municipal elections (June 1990) and Legislative (December 1991).

Despite the adoption of political pluralism, the Front Party’s dominance of the reins of government remained, and it was the biggest winner in all the rounds of elections organized later, whether they were municipalities, legislative or presidential, with the exception of the legislative elections at the end of 1991, which swept the Islamic movement led by the Islamic Salvation Front, the results of its first session, so the army canceled the results of its first session. results and prevent the organization of its second session.

– Under the rule of President Bendjedid and during the tenure of Abdelhamid Mehri as Secretary-General of the Front Party (1988-1996), the party was given more importance than before in the political scene, becoming one party under whose leadership the country faced serious crises and turmoil, culminating in the events of October The first was 1988, which consisted of popular protests calling for reform, and the state met it with violence, which left hundreds of deaths and detainees.

“Black decade”

The party had a major role in promoting the “civil harmony” project, which came to eliminate violent confrontations between the state and armed groups after the army canceled the electoral process – which the Islamist movement won – in early 1992, and a popular referendum was held on it in September 1999 under the rule of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The party’s declared position during the years of the security crisis – which the country witnessed starting in 1992 and known as the “black decade” – was to confirm that “stability is necessary to continue the development process, while demanding to continue fighting terrorism fiercely.”

– 2003: The Front split after some of its members supported President Bouteflika and others supported former Prime Minister Ali Benflis, who was elected Secretary-General of the Front in March of the same year after he was dismissed from the premiership, and the National Liberation Front nominated him in its name to run in the presidential elections in October 2003.

– The Administrative Chamber of the Court of Algiers announced – based on Algerian law – the invalidity of the National Liberation Front conference in October 2003, and froze the accounts of the Front.

– As a result, the situation of the front became more sensitive as the dispute between its leaders intensified and its emergence into the public eye, as Abdelaziz Belkhadem, one of its most prominent and strongest leaders and closest to Bouteflika, was overthrown, and the party was employed in the struggle to run for the presidential elections in 2004 between Bouteflika and Benflis, and its recruitment in the 2014 elections. On the continuation of Bouteflika, and in his conflict with the director of intelligence, Mohamed Mediene (known as General Tawfiq), who was later overthrown.

– These disagreements emerged annoyingly to the followers of the Front at its tenth conference held in May 2015, and observers saw in them a struggle for influence and roles parallel to the struggles of generations and ideas within the ranks of this Front, which its critics say has deviated from its correct path, neglected its historical balance, and even transformed From a builder of modern Algeria to an obstacle to its progress towards true democracy.

October 22, 2016: The party chose Ould Abbas as Acting Secretary-General to succeed Ammar Saadani, who submitted his resignation.

May 4, 2017: The National Liberation Front and its allies won the majority in the legislative dome, while the other parties shared the rest of the seats.

The party won 164 seats out of 462 in parliament, while the ruling National Democratic Assembly came second with 97 seats, followed by the opposition Islamic Society for Peace Movement coalition with 33 seats.

November 25, 2017: The party came out on top in the local elections, with 30.56% of the vote.

The party won the presidency of 603 municipalities and 711 seats in the provincial councils, while its ally in power, the National Democratic Gathering led by Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, ranked second (23.21%) with 451 municipalities and 527 seats in the provincial councils.

– November 14, 2018: The Secretary-General of the Front, Jamal Ould Abbas, submitted his resignation from the position of Secretary-General of the ruling party, and Moaz Bouchareb, Speaker of Parliament was chosen to succeed him in the post until a new Secretary-General of the party is elected.

April 29, 2019: Mohamed Jemai is elected as the new Secretary-General of the party.

May 4, 2019: All asked for forgiveness from “the honor of the Algerian people”, and stressed that the party was “hijacked”, and promised that the party would learn from all its past mistakes.

September 16, 2019: Jamei was arrested for interrogation on charges of damaging official documents and judicial files related to corruption cases, and resigned from the party leadership.

September 16, 2019: Ali Siddiqui is elected as the new Secretary-General of the party.

May 30, 2020: Abu al-Fadl Baji is elected as the new Secretary-General of the party.

June 15, 2021: The Front topped the results of the legislative elections, despite the significant decline in the number of seats it won in light of a large boycott, as the participation rate reached only 30.2%.

The Front won 105 seats in the 407-seat parliament, while the Islamic Society for Peace Movement party won 64 seats, “Independent Candidates” won 78 seats, the National Democratic Rally Party won 57 seats, and the Future Front party won 48 seats. The National Building Movement Party won 40 seats, the Good Governance Front won 3 seats, compared to two seats for the Justice and Development Front, and the same for Freedom and Justice, and the New Dawn.

November 30, 2021: The head of the Independent Electoral Authority, Muhammad Sharafi, announced that the National Liberation Front had won the largest number of seats in the municipal and state popular council elections.

The party won 5,978 seats to win 124 municipalities with an absolute majority, while it was competing with lists of parties and independents for leadership of 552 municipalities, according to the principle of relative majority.

In the state councils, the party won 471 seats in 25 states (provinces), without registering an absolute majority in any of the councils. The relative majority forces him to enter into alliances with the aim of winning the presidency of a larger number of municipalities and state councils.

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