After the riots of 1988, the Algerian government had moved towards democracy, holding free elections. However, when the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) won the first free parliamentary election in 1991, the military staged a coup d'état, voided the election results, declared a state of emergency which remained in force until 2011, and arrested the FIS leadership. This led to the founding of the Armed Islamic Groups (GIA) and the ten-year Algerian Civil War, in which an estimated 150,000 people were killed.
With the unchallenged election of Abdelaziz Bouteflika as president in 1999, civilian government was nominally restored. Violence died down as both guerrillas and soldiers were given impunity for their previous acts under the controversial Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation. Towards the end of his second term, Bouteflika amended the constitution to allow himself to run for a third term in 2009; to no one's surprise, he won the ensuing election, with, according to the opposition and the US Embassy, a very low turnout.
Seventy percent of Algeria's population is less than 30 years old. Consequent high levels of youth unemployment, coupled with corruption and widespread poverty, are seen as reasons for dissatisfaction.
The leader of the Rally for Culture and Democracy, Saïd Sadi, claimed that during 2010, there were "9,700 riots and unrests" in Algeria. Some protests were about issues such as education and health care, as well as rampant corruption.
Prior to the outbreak of protests, in February 2008, United States Ambassador Robert Ford in leaked diplomatic cables called Algeria "an unhappy country", stating "There is much discussion among political circles about the constitution, the third term and the succession issue, but precious little discussion about how to address long-standing political alienation and social discontent throughout the country." He claimed there were strikes over food "by different labor groups almost weekly" and that "almost daily there are isolated demonstrations with the occasional government office in some distant town attacked." Ford stated that "voter turnout for the 2007 legislative and local elections was lower than ever before because Algeria's young people do not see the political system as having any relevance to addressing their problem." United States diplomats also claimed that the Algerian regime is more corrupt than the international community realises and is also more fragile. The diplomatic cable also said that Bouteflika may have cancer.
Wholesale laptop batteries
5050 LED light bar