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    Abdelaziz Bouteflika

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    Abdelaziz Bouteflika

    مُساهمة  Admin في الإثنين فبراير 02, 2009 7:06 pm

    Abdelaziz Bouteflika
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Abdelaziz Bouteflika


    10th President of Algeria

    Incumbent

    In office since April 27, 1999

    Preceded by Liamine Zéroual

    Born March 2, 1937
    Oujda, Morocco

    Political party National Rally for Democracy

    Spouse Amal Triki

    Abdelaziz Bouteflika (help•info) (Arabic: عبد العزيز بوتفليقة) (born March 2, 1937 in Morocco (Oujda)) has been the President of Algeria since 1999.


    Abdelaziz Bouteflika is married since August 1990 and has no children, his wife (Amal Triki) is a daughter of former diplomat (Yahia Triki), she currently does not live with him, she lives in Paris.
    Abdelaziz Bouteflika has three half sisters (Fatima, Yamina and Aïcha) with whom he has no contact, four brothers (Abdelghani, Mustapha, Abderahim and Saïd) and one sister (Latifa).
    [edit] Early Life
    His father, Ahmed Bouteflika, was born in Telemcen, he emigrated to Morocco when he was young, Ahmed Bouteflika was married to two women: Belkaïd Rabia and Ghezlaoui Mansouriah (the mother of the current President).
    When Abdelaziz Bouteflika was born on the 2nd of March 1937 in Morocco (Oudja), he was the first child of his mother and the second child of His father, Fatima his half sister preceded him.
    His mother, Ghezlaoui Mansouriah, was working in a hammam in Morocco.
    He lived and studied in Morocco until he joined the ALN, he could not finish his last year in high school and get a matric because of that.
    The official biography omits the fact that he was born and lived in Morocco, most likely for political reasons.[1]
    [edit] War of Independence
    In 1956 the Algerian students were given no other possibility other than joining the ALN, those who refused where killed, in these conditions, Bouteflika was enrolled in the ALN at the age of 19.
    He started as a 'controller' (checking the situation and making reports on what's happening in the Moroccan border and in west Algeria) and finished as the administrative secretary of Houari Boumédiène. Many leaders of the Algerian War of Independence say that some of his reports caused the assassination of several heroes of the war, such as that of Boucif.
    In 1960, Houari Boumédiène nominated him to a function in tunisia but Bouteflika was unreachable, no one knew where he was, when he showed up after a little travel in Europe with some of his friends, disciplinary actions were going to be taken against him but Houari Boumédiène decided otherwise : he nominated him to another function in Mali to open a new front. some observers see this affectation as punishment since there was nothing to "open" from a sahelian country according to the same observers.
    After some weeks spent in Mali, Bouteflika disappeared again, he showed up after several months spent in Morocco with a woman. Once again he was forgiven by Houari Boumédiène.
    Between 1961 and 1962 he participated in the coup against the provisional Algerian government (GPRA).
    [edit] Early Political career
    After Algeria's independence in 1962, he became deputy of Tlemcen in the Constituent Assembly and Minister for Youth and Sport in the government led by Ahmed Ben Bella. The next year, he was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs and remained in this position until the death of President Houari Boumedienne in 1978, of who he was considered to be the right arm.
    In 1979, he expected to succeed Boumedienne as President but the Army decided otherwise and chose Chadli Bendjedid instead. Although he then became Minister of State, he was progressively pushed away and left the political arena in 1981.
    [edit] The "Exile"
    In 1983, he left the country and stayed in the UAE, in France and Switzerland. After six years abroad, he finally came back and joined the Central Committee of the National Liberation Font (FLN) in 1989.
    In January 1994, Bouteflika refused the Army’s proposal to succeed the assassinated president, Mohamed Boudiaf, presumably to avoid asking the support of the political parties. Instead, General Liamine Zeroual became President.
    [edit] Elected President in 1999
    In 1999 he ran for President as an independent candidate supported by the military. He was elected with 74% of the votes, according to the authorities. All the other candidates had withdrawn from the election, citing fraud concerns. Bouteflika subsequently organized a referendum on his policies to restore peace and security to Algeria and to test his support among his countrymen after the contested election and won with 81% of the vote, but this figure was also disputed by opponents.
    The Kabyle population boycotted the election, participation did not exceed 5%.
    [edit] Economic policies
    During his first mandate Bouteflika launched a five year economical plan (2000-2004), called the Support Plan for Economic Recovery (PSRE: Plan de Soutien a la Relance Economique). The plan was a package of various sub-plans such as the National Plan for Agricultural Development (PNDA: Plan National pour le Développement Agricole), aimed at boosting agricultural production. Other sub-plans included the construction of social housing units, roads, and other infrastructure projects. The PSRE totalled $7 billion worth of spending, and gave satisfactory results with the economy averaging higher than 5% annual growth rates, with a peak of 6.3% in the year 2003. Bouteflika also pushed through a fiscal reform which participated in the economic revival.
    [edit] Foreign policy
    Bouteflika was also active on the international scene. He presided over the African Union in 2000 and secured the Algiers Peace Treaty between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and supported peace efforts in the African Great Lakes Region. He also secured a friendship treaty with neighbouring Spain in 2002, and welcomed president Chirac of France on a state visit to Algiers in 2003, in a prelude to the signature of a friendship treaty. Relations with the Kingdom of Morocco remained slightly tense, with diplomatic clashes on the issue of the Western Sahara, despite promising beginnings in 1999.
    [edit] Arab nationalism and the Kabyle problem
    During the electoral campaign of 1999, the candidate Bouteflika was badly welcomed by the Kabyle population, many people insulted him and throw at him stones, after the incident he said "I thought I will find giants, but I found gnomes!" to his auditors, he also advised the local population to "go out from Kabylie and discover the rest of Algeria", he also said : "The Berber language will never, never be an official language in Algeria". Since then he has never attended any meeting in Kabylie. The Kabyle population boycotted the election (5% participation in Kabylie) knowing that the military would alter the elections in his favour, and even though there was 5% participation, he got less than 50% of the votes in Kabylie.
    In 2001, a young Kabyle activist (Guermah Massinissa) was arrested with no reason by the gendarmes and was "accidentally" killed inside the gendarmerie. This provoked terrible riots in Kabylie that lasted for months. Bouteflika's government claimed that the real name of Massinissa was in fact Karim and that he was a jobless criminal of 26 years old. Several months after having said that, the government's admitted that the real name was in fact Massinissa, and that he was an innocent high school student. The minister of interior Yazid Zerhouni said that he "was badly informed". But still; no apologies were given to the victim. The riots did not stop.
    During the Kabyle crisis of 2001, also called the "Black Spring", Bouteflika's government maintained that the Kabyles were "manipulated by a foreign hand".
    A march that brought about 500 000 Kabyles into the capital, Algiers, was organized by the Arouch, it was followed by a confrontation between the local population of Algiers and the Kabyles. The police sided with the "Algérois" and the sole TV channel in Algeria thanked "les Algérois for having defended their town from the invaders". Since then marches in Algiers have become prohibited.
    At the end, Bouteflika had to capitulate to some of the Kabyle revendications, he withdrew the gendarmes from Kabylie and added the Berber language as a "national language" in the constitution.
    126 young Kabyles were killed, hundreds were severely injured in these riots, also many were tortured by the gendarmes. A new political movement appeared : The Movement for the autonomy of Kabylie which has Regionalistic revendications that never existed among the Kabyle population.
    [edit] Second term in 2004
    On April 8, 2004, he was re-elected by 85% of the vote in an election that was praised by OSCE observers as an example of democracy in the Arab world, while contested by his rival and former Chief of Staff Ali Benflis. Several opponents alleged that the election had not been fair, and pointed to extensive state control over the broadcast media.
    The Kabyle population boycotted the election, participation did not exceed 11%.
    [edit] Reconciliation plan
    During the first year of his second mandate, President Bouteflika has held a referendum on his "National Reconciliation Plan", inspired by the 1995 "St Egidio Platform" document. Bouteflika's plan aims at concluding his efforts of ending the civil war, from a political and judicial point of view. He obtained large popular support with this referendum and has since instructed the government and Parliament to work on the technical details of its implementation. Critics have claimed that the plan will only grant immunity to members of the armed forces responsible for crimes, as well as to terrorists and have argued for a plan similar to South Africa's "truth and reconciliation commission" to be adopted instead. Bouteflika has dismissed the calls, claiming that each country needs to find its own solutions to ending painful chapters of its history. Thus far he has received large political support on this issue, from both the Islamist and the Nationalist camps, and most of the Democrat camp - except one party: the FFS (Front of Socialist Forces).
    [edit] Economic policies
    The first year of Bouteflika second mandate has also a new five year plan, much larger this time drafted. The Complementary Plan for Economic Growth Support (PCSC: Plan Complementaire de la Croissance Economique) aims for the construction of 1 million housing units, the creation of 2 million jobs, the completion of the East-West 1200km long highway, the completion of the Algiers subway project, the delivery of the new Algiers airport, and other similar large scale infrastructure projects. The PCSC totals $60 billion of spending over the five year period. Bouteflika also aims to bring down the external debt from $21 billion to $12 billion in the same time. He has also obtained from Parliament the reform of the law governing the oil and gas industries, despite initial opposition from the workers unions. However, Bouteflika has since stepped back from this position, supporting amendments to the hydrocarbon law in 2006, which propose watering down some of the clauses of the 2005 legislation relating to the role of SONATRACH, the state owned oil & gas company, in new developments. It also proposes new provisions enabling the country to benefit from windfall taxes on foreign investors in times of high prices. Bouteflika has also put up for sale 1300 public sector companies, and has already achieved privatization of about 150 of them, mainly in the tourism, food processing, cement, construction material and chemical industries.
    [edit] Foreign policy
    On the international scene, Bouteflika's second mandate has seen diplomatic tensions rise with France due to the controversial voting by the French Parliament of a law ordering French history school books to teach that French colonisation had positive effects abroad, especially in North Africa. The diplomatic crisis which ensued has put on hold the signing of a friendship treaty with France (February 23, 2004, re-endorsed in December 2005). In 2004 Bouteflika also organised the Arab League Summit and became President of the Arab League for one year. His calls for reform of the League did not gain sufficient support to pass in during the Algiers summit however.
    [edit] Arab nationalism and the Kabyle problem
    Bouteflika's government organized local elections in Kabylie with the agreement of the Arouch (the government promissed to satisfy all the Kabyle revendications), but the day of the elections, Bouteflika said : "I don't know any country in the world where two official languages coexist" forgetting that half of the planet has more than one official language. He also added : "Algeria will never have any other official language than Arabic". [2]
    The improvised local elections were not very successful, only 30% of the Kabyles partcipated, the majority of the seats were taken by two Secularist and Berberist political parties : the FFS and the RCD.
    [edit] Hospitalization in 2005
    Bouteflika was admitted to a hospital in France on 26 November 2005, reportedly suffering from a gastric ulcer hemorrhage, and discharged three weeks later. [3] However, the length of time for which this normally publicity-loving leader remained virtually incommunicado led to rumours that he was critically ill with stomach cancer.[4] He checked into the hospital again in April 2006 [5].
    [edit] Constitutional amendment in 2006
    Bouteflika appointed a new Prime Minister, Abdelaziz Belkhadem, in 2006. Belkhadem announced plans to amend the Algerian Constitution to allow the President to run for office indefinitely often and increase his powers. [6]
    Observers see this amendment as a ruse to cancel the two mandates limit, they predict the introduction of a new law that would allow Bouteflika to be candidate for the third time.
    [edit] Notes
    1. ^ See link to official bio in references section.
    2. ^ Post about the speech at Souss.com (in French) (automated translation by Yahoo!)
    3. ^ news24.com (author is "(SA)"), date is December 18, 2005
    4. ^ middle-east-online.com, no author, date 2005-12-15
    5. ^ Algeria leader in French hospital, BBC, 20 April 2006
    6. ^ iol.co.za, by Hassane Meftahi, May 26 2006; and liberation.fr (in French)
    [edit] References
    • Official biography (in French) (automated translation from Yahoo!)
    [edit] External links
    • Official Website
    • Write the President
    • Profile: Abdelaziz Bouteflika, BBC, 9 April, 2004.
    • Vidoes of the Black Spring: (from dailymotion.com) [1] and [2].
    [edit] Postal address
    Presidence de la Republique
    Place Mohamed Seddik Benyahya
    El Mouradia
    16000 Algiers
    ALGERIA
    Preceded by:
    Leopoldo Benites
    President of the United Nations General Assembly
    1974–1975 Succeeded by:
    Gaston Thorn

    Preceded by:
    Liamine Zéroual
    President of Algeria
    1999– Succeeded by:
    Incumbent

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