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Vol 37 No 16

Published 2nd August 1996


Algeria

Digging deep

The discovery of a gigantic oil and gas field that could more than double national output greatly strengthens a government which has looked besieged by Islamists. It allows President Lamine Zeroual to keep talking with political parties and still insist on increasing his own powers. He wants parties to be banned from basing their policies on Islam or on Arab or Kabyle ethnicity but is looking for more electoral legitimacy after last November' s polls which the government sees as a major success. 'We are committed to holding elections for all remaining organs of government by the end of next year,' Premier Ahmed Ouyahia said this week.

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