Local and Regional Government
The system of local government existing in the early 1990s was established under Boumediene in the late 1960s. The decentralization of local government during the latter period provided an alternative focus to the concentration of power in the highly centralized single-party apparatus and in Boumediene's own personalist rule. An extensive system of administration restricted the autonomy and independent action of provincial and local assemblies. Communal and provincial councils are generally confined to purely administrative and/or distributive functions, rubber stamping national government initiatives. Political campaigning was the responsibility of the FLN, not the individual candidates; this system eliminated electoral competition and resulted in a lethargic and apathetic administrative government at the local and regional levels despite the FLN's initial mandate to "politicize the masses." Voter turnout at local elections has generally been low. In contrast, in Algeria's first multiparty elections in June 1990, almost two-thirds of the population participated.
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