After being part of the 2011 Arab Spring, Algeria held elections in 2012, but democracy has experienced setbacks since then.
The Carter Center deployed a small political expert team to Algeria in May 2012 to conduct a targeted assessment of the People's National Assembly elections. The Center found that the legal framework was generally adequate for the conduct of democratic elections. The January 2012 reform package, which included the institution of a commission of magistrates and increased autonomy for the monitoring body, was an important step in electoral reform. The introduction of mandatory quotas for women's representation in elected bodies also was a notable improvement. Despite these positive steps, the conduct of the 2012 elections appears to have suffered from significant deviation from internationally recognized best practices. Gaps in the transparency safeguards for the voting, counting, and tabulation processes, and an absence of transparency in the announcement of results, undermined confidence in the overall results.
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Size: 2,381,741 square kilometers
Population below poverty line: 23 percent
Life expectancy: 76 years
Ethnic groups: Arab-Berber, European (less than 1 percent)
Religions: Muslim (official; predominantly Sunni), other (includes Christian and Jewish)
Languages: Arabic (official), French (lingua franca), Berber dialects: Kabylie Berber (Tamazight), Chaouia Berber (Tachawit), Mzab Berber, Tuareg Berber (Tamahaq)
Source U.S. Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook 2015