What Type Of Government Does Algeria Have?

The National Assembly in Algiers.
The National Assembly in Algiers.

From 1991 to 2002, Algeria was locked in a civil war which engaged the government against Islamic rebel groups. Over 100,000 people died in the Algerian civil war which resulted in a victory for the government. The country's security and political stability has since improved. Algeria's 1976 Constitution was modified in 1979 and subsequently amended in 1988, 1989, and 1996. This Constitution was further amended in 2008, and another Constitution was approved in 2016. The nation is a multi-party state and has had over 40 legal, political parties. Multiple sources agree that power in Algeria does not rest with its constitutional agencies but with other informal powers which range from the military to men from the ruling party.

Executive Branch Of The Government Of Algeria

The duties of the head of state in Algeria are carried out by the President. The country has universal suffrage and elects the head of state for five-year terms. The Algerian President fulfills the required roles as commander-in-chief of the People's National Armed Forced of Algeria. He further appoints the Prime Minister and chairs the Council of Ministers in addition to the High-Security Council. The Prime Minister, in turn, appoints members of the Council of Ministers.

Legislative Branch Of The Government Of Algeria

Legislative duties in Algeria are executed by two chambers namely the People's National Assembly and the Council of the Nation. The latter is the upper chamber and has 144 seats. 48 members receive their appointments from the President while the other 96 are indirectly elected. Sessions of the Nation are chaired by a President deputized by two vice-presidents. The People's National Assembly serves as the lower chamber and has 462 members. The members are elected by the voters, and eight seats are reserved for citizens living abroad. Members of this institution are voted in for five-year terms through proportional representation.

Judicial Branch Of The Government Of Algeria

The Algerian judicial system features civil and military courts. Each Wilayat (province) has a court of the first instance which tries civil as well as some criminal cases. Islamic Law (Shari'a) is used to resolve social matters in civilian courts. Military courts give audience to military cases involving military personnel. In some instances, the military courts have decided cases involving civilians linked to terrorism and other security-related offenses. A Constitutional Council is mandated to review the constitutionality of laws, treaties, and regulation although it is not part of the judiciary. At the top of Algeria's judicial system is the Supreme Court. Although the Algerian Constitution provides for an independent Judiciary, its authority stands limited by the Executive. The President, for example, can appoint and dismiss judges without Parliament's approval.

Administration Of Algeria

Algeria is subdivided into 48 provinces (wilaya), and each is headed by a governor (walis). The governors are accountable to the Minister of Interior. A wilaya is divided into daïras which are further divided into communes. An elected assembly manages the wilayas and the communes.

Problems Facing The Algerian Government

Population growth in Algeria has triggered urban migration where the social services are inadequate to handle such a population surge. The country is further plagued with underemployment and unemployment and inadequate industrial productivity. An economic program was launched in 1993 with the aim to liberalize the economy, stimulate employment, and make the nation competitive in the international market.


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