Rassemblement National Démocratique (RND)

views updated


Political party of Algerian president Liamine Zeroual.

The Rassemblement National Démocratique (RND) was created on February 1997, a few months before the June legislative elections. It received its official approval on April 1997. Called the "political party of President Zeroual," it is also the party of the Algerian administration. Since its creation, it has been directed by three men: Abdelkader Bensalah, former member of the National Council of Transition; Tahar Benbaibèche, former leader of the Organization of Martyrs' children; and Ahmed Ouyahia, the current prime minister and former minister of justice. According to analysts and diplomats in Algeria, the RND was founded by some defectors from the FLN (the National Liberation Front, once Algeria's sole party) who were opposed to its willingness to enter into a dialogue with Islamists. It was created as a vehicle to support President Zeroual's policies, to win the 1997 elections, and to punish the FLN for its involvement, two years before, in the Sant Egidio agreement.

In the legislative elections of June 1997, which were tarnished by massive irregularities, the RND arrived at the head of the list with 155 elected deputies (46.5% of the vote), gaining 80 seats of the 96 in the upper house. During the provincial and municipal elections of October 1997, it won 896 seats (of 1,779 seats) in the Provincial Popular Assembly (APW) and more than the half of 13,126 seats in the communal assemblies.

In the 2002 legislative elections the FLN won 199 seats at the National Popular Assembly (APN) and the RND lost its majority at all levels.

see also sant egidio platform.


Arsala, Deane. Algeria's June 5, 1997, Parliamentary Election. Washington, DC: National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, 1997.

Salah Tahi, M. "Algeria's Legislative and Local Elections: Democracy Denied" In Mediterranean Politics, Vol. 2, no. 3, 1997, pp. 123133.

Sammakia, Nejla. Algeria: Elections in the Shadow of Violence and Repression. New York: Human Rights Watch/Middle East, 1999.

azzedine g. mansour