The Biography of Ali Benflis

Former Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament, M. Ali BENFLIS has successively held the positions of Secretary-General at the Presidential office and Chief of Staff at the Presidential Cabinet before being appointed head of the Government and Secretary-General of the FLN party.

It is as the latter that he ran for president in the last Algerian presidential elections held on April 8 2004, the results of which were distorted by fraud.

Fervent militant of Human Rights, M. BENFLIS is a founding member of the Algerian human Rights League authorized on November 11 1987; he was a member of the executive committee and a delegate for the country’s eastern area till November 9 1998.

He was born in Batna, in the Aures on September 8, 1944; when he was 13, his father and his elder brother died martyrs of the National Liberation War.

He is married and has four children. BENFLIS went to a primary school in Batna, then to HIHI EL MEKKI high school in Constantine where he passed his baccalaureate.

I – M. BENFLIS Magistrate:

Holder of a law degree, obtained in 1968 from the Faculty of Law and Economic Sciences of Algiers, M. BENFLIS, who is bilingual (Arabic/French), first took up the career of magistrate and was appointed judge at the Court of Blida in October 1968 before being posted in the central administration of the Ministry of Justice where he exercised as sub-director in charge of juvenile delinquency till the end of 1969.

He then fulfilled the function of prosecutor at the Court of Batna from 1969 to 1971 before acting as General Attorney at the Court of Constantine from 1971 to 1974; at that time he decided to start a professional career by joining the bar, then, he settled in Batna.

II – M. BENFLIS Lawyer:

In 1974, established at the Bar of Batna, M. BENFLIS soon proved to be one of the most brilliant lawyers of his generation. This made his peers elect him President of the Lawyers, organization for the area from 1983 to 1985, and member of the executive committee of the National Council of Lawyers for the same period.

In 1987, he was elected President of the Bar for the area of Batna till his appointment as Minister of Justice in November 1988.

III – M. BENFLIS Minister of Justice:

The period that he spent at the head of the Ministry of Justice (1988-1991) is considered as the “golden age” of Justice.

It is under his leadership that justice has known the deepest and most daring reforms.

He had a new Status of the Judicial Authorities adopted, establishing for the first time the independence of the judiciary power.

He also had several other laws passed: the law governing the lawyer’s profession which reinforced the rights of the defence; the laws related to the professions of notaries and bailiffs as well as texts relating to the clerk’s office.

He initiated the adoption of texts consolidating freedom and human rights such as the abolition of the banishment sentence and the elimination of the State Security Court.

He improved the prison conditions and humanised the penitentiaries.

Minister of Justice in three different governments, he will be remembered as the one who required from the authorities that certain judiciary guarantees be respected such as the right of recourse and the right to a defending counsel for the people subjected to a measure of internment without trial taken in application of the 1991 decree instituting the Emergency State. He will also be remembered because he resigned from the government when his request was not taken into account.

IV – M. BENFLIS Prime Minister:

He was appointed Prime Minister in August 2000, his mandate was renewed in June 2002 and he left his function in may 2003.

As a Prime Minister, M. BENFLIS implemented a new style of governance based on dialogue and consultation. His qualities of open-mindedness enabled him to defuse with clear-sightedness many social conflicts and to have his social and economic partners adhere to his legislative initiatives tending to regulate the economic and social reforms of his governmental programme.

V – M. BENFLIS Member of the Political Board of the FLN Party

M. BENFLIS started a brilliant political career by being elected in December 1989 at the Central Committee and the Political Bureau of the FLN, where he was successively re-elected in 1991, 1996, 1998 and 2000.

He was elected at the head of the party as General-Secretary in September 2001 and re-elected at the same post during the 8th congress held on 18-19-20 March 2003.

While at the head of the party, he resolutely led it on the path of modernity, opening and autonomy.

Following the announcement of the presidential elections results on April 8 2004, he handed in his mandate as Secretary-General after denouncing the massive electoral fraud which marred the elections; the instrumentation of justice by the government and the use of public funds for electoral purposes, précising however that he was not leaving the political scene and that he remained loyal to his ideas.