National Liberation Front

Published 2nd May, 2012

The National Liberation Front was founded in 1954 from a number of smaller groups to obtain independence from France. It describes itself as a left wing party and believes in Algerian nationalism and socialism.

The party fought its first election in 1962 and won all 196 seats in the People’s National Assembly. Ahmed Ben Bella was the country’s first president, but he was replaced in a coup in 1965 by Colonel Houari Boumedienne. He remained as president until his death in 1978.

Meanwhile the FLN became the sole political party in Algeria and won the 1964, 1977, 1982 and 1987 elections outright.

In 1979 Chadli Bendjedid was elected as the new party leader and presidential candidate. He went on to win the 1979 election with 99.4% of the vote and then won again in 1984 with 99.42% and in 1988 with 93.26%.

1991 saw the advent of multiparty elections and the FLN dropped from 295 seats to just 15 seats in the first round. The military intervened and a five member Higher State Council took over. Although the new government involved FLN members, the party went into opposition.

The FLN joined the opposition boycott of the presidential elections in 1995 but they did fight the general election of 1997 coming third with 62 of the 231 seats in the People’s National Assembly. They decided to participate in the new National Rally for Democracy (RND) government.

By 2002 the party had recovered its strength and in the election that year they came first with 199 of the 389 seats in the People’s National Assembly.

Meanwhile, in 1999 Abdelaziz Bouteflika of the FLN won the presidential election with 73.8% of the vote. He also won the 2004 election with 85% and the 2009 election with 90.24%, albeit on a very low turnout.

In 2007 the FLN won 136 of the 389 seats in the People’s National Assembly and having formed an alliance in 2004 with the National Rally for Democracy (RND) and the Movement of Society for Peace (MSP – Hamas) they came together in 2007 in the so called ‘Presidential Alliance’ to form the government.

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