Algeria govt moves to pre-empt possible revolts

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Algiers, Feb 4: In these days of revolts against oppressive regimes in the Arab World, Algeria has come up with a pre-emptive move to vanquish any possible uprising by promising to end a 19-year old state of emergency and provide more political freedom.

The lifting of the state of emergency will happen “in the very near future", official media quoted President Abdelaziz Bouteflika as telling a meeting of senior ministers, reported Reuters.

Bouteflika, serving his third term as president, issued a warning to opposition groups by saying, "Freedom should not end in a situation where you have things sliding out of control or anarchy, which have already cost Algeria dear."

In 1992, authorities in Algeria clamped a state of emergency after declaring invalid a parliamentary election which a radical Islamic party was set to win and what has followed is nearly two decades of armed conflict between Islamic insurgents and security forces.

However, there still is no indication if all those Islamic parties banned then would be allowed to function again.

But in a significant development, Bouteflika instructed national television and radio stations to give airtime to all political parties.

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