|People's Democratic Republic of Algeria|
|Head of State:||Abdelaziz Bouteflika|
|UN Member State|
Situated on the Mediterranean North Coast of Africa, Algeria is a large country that covers a vast expanse of the Sahara. The country shares borders with Tunisia and Libya to the East, Niger, Mali and Mauritania to the South, and Morocco to the West. Algeria is a Multiparty Republic of approximately 36 million inhabitants whose head of state and government (president) is elected by popular vote to a five-year term. The president has the constitutional authority to appoint and dismiss cabinet members and the prime minister.
Algeria has enjoyed many years of peace and security, although there are suggestions that this has changed in recent years.
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was re-elected in 2004 in a generally transparent, contested election. On November 12, the parliament adopted a constitutional amendment eliminating the two-term limit for the president. Multiparty parliamentary elections in May 2007 were conducted in a generally transparent manner, but authorities did not allow all political parties full access to the electoral process. The government held multiparty local elections in November 2007, but irregularities and charges of fraud marred the electoral process. A state of emergency implemented in 1992 remained in effect during the year. Civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces.
While the law provided for the right to change the government through elections, restrictions on freedom of association significantly limited citizens' ability to do so. Other human rights problems included failure to account for persons who disappeared in detention during the 1990s, reports of abuse and torture, official impunity, abuse of pre-trial detention, poor prison conditions, limited judicial independence, and restrictions on freedom of speech. There were also increased limitations on religious freedom and problems with security-based restrictions on movement, corruption and lack of government transparency, discrimination and violence against women, and restrictions on workers' rights.