Algeria / Politics /
(1932-) President of Algeria 1994-1999.
Zeroual's background is military, and he had a position as general until his appointment as president. Early on he was seen upon as a hardliner concerning Islamist groups, but his political line involved dialogue with the leaders of the FIS.
Following that the new constitution of Algeria officially received 85.9% of the popular votes in 1996, he had a democratic mandate to keep out all political groups that define themselves from religious and ethnic orientations.
Zeroual was active in rebuilding democratic structures. He staged several elections and a constitutional referendum, but many of these were criticized both by national and international observers.
1941 July 3: Born in Batna.
1957: Joins the ALN, participating in the Algerian War.
1994 January 31: Appointed president of the High State Committee, effectively making him the president of Algeria.
April: Appoints a new government, consisting of technocrats and senior civil servants.
October: Declares that a presidential election is to be held within 1995.
1995 November 16: Multi-party presidential elections, with 76% of the electorate participating. Zeroual wins 61% of the votes.
1996 September: National conference orchestrated by the Zeroual, in which main political parties participates.
November 28: Referendum over changes to the 1989 constitution, like the ban on religious parties and language. The changes meets much resistance from Kabyle Berbers.
1997 October: Regional and municipal elections, which are accused for widespread abuse. Algeria saw mass demonstrations.
1999 April 15: Zeroual resigns from office, both because of his bad health condition and weakened support from the army high commando. He is succeeded by Abdelaziz Bouteflika.