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Rassemblement Pour La Culture Et La Démocratie (RCD)


The unique secular party in Algeria.

The Rassemblement pour la Culture et la Démocratie (RCD) was born from a split within the FFS (Socialist Forces Front), the traditional Kabyle political party headed by Hocine Aït Ahmed. This secular party was created in February 1989 during a meeting of the Amazigh Cultural Movement. Its aims include political pluralism, the abolition of the Family Code of 1984 that limits women's freedom, an official redefinition of the Algerian identity in its triple dimension (Amazigh, Arabic, and Muslim), social justice, modernization of the Algerian economy to include free enterprise, and the separation of politics from religion. Opposed to the country's forced Arabization, it also considers the use of the French language in Algeria a matter of cultural enrichment.

During the municipal elections of June 1990, the RCD won only 87 communes, mainly in Kabylia (as compared to the 900 won by the FIS). During the first round of legislative elections held in December 1991, it did not win a single Islamist seat in the Popular National Assembly (APN, the Algerian parliament). With the overwhelming FIS victory, Saïd Sadi, head of the RCD, supported the interruption of the electoral process that drove the country into civil war. A strong supporter of "eradication" policy, the RCD preferred to see the Algerian army rule Algeria rather than the Islamists. It organized resistance to Islamists in Kabylia and called for the formation of defensive groups against terrorism.

The RCD participated in the 1995 and subsequent elections and took part in different coalition governments. In the summer of 2000, however, it pulled out of the government in protest against the regime's policies toward the Kabyles. It boycotted the 2002 legislative elections.


Malley, Robert. The Call from Algeria: Third Worldism, Revolution, and the Turn to Islam. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1996.

Willis, Michael. The Islamist Challenge in Algeri: A Political History. New York: New York University Press, 1996.

azzedine g. mansour

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