oa Africa Insight - The fundamentalist reaction and the future of Algeria

Volume 21, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



On 27 June 1991 free legislative elections were due to have been held for the first time in Algeria. The country had spent almost three decades of independence under one-party rule. If the poll had taken place, this step in the democratization process, which had started with the municipal elections of June 1990, would have constituted a political event of the utmost importance, with implications reaching far beyond the frontiers of the most populous country of the Maghreb. As pointed out in The Economist, two notable facts determined why the poll had been so eagerly awaited. Firstly, after the successes scored by the Fundamentalists in the municipal elections, Algerians had been given the opportunity to decide whether their country should follow a path identical to that pursued by Iran. Secondly, the election scheduled for 27 June would have been the first really democratic legislative ballot held in the Arab world.

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