|Affiliation||National Liberation Front
Algiers, , Algeria
|| March 02, 1937
Jul 09, 2007 01:51pm
Married - Islam -
|Info||Born in 1937, Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been president of Algeria since 1999. He served as foreign minister for 16 years until 1978. He went into self-imposed exile in 1981. |
He returned to Algeria and to politics in the late 1980s. In 1994 the army offered him the presidency without power over the military, but he declined.
The military backed him in the 1999 presidential election. Since then he has tried to play down his image of a president under the army's thumb.
He was elected on a promise to restore peace after years of conflict with armed Islamists over the cancellation, in January 1992, of elections which the Islamic Salvation Front or FIS was poised to win.
In September 1999 Algerians voted in a referendum for his Civil Concord initiative. This formalised a ceasefire signed with the armed wing of the FIS in 1997.
President Bouteflika has repeatedly said he wants to take the Civil Concord further to what he calls "National Reconciliation". Many see this as a strategy to rehabilitate the FIS and negotiate peace with other armed groups.
He has promised wide-ranging reforms of the economy, education and the justice system. But the opposition says he has failed to deliver.