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Vol 38 No 25

Published 19th December 1997


Algeria

Rule by authority

The latest elections haven't changed the Maghreb governments' absolutist methods

For all their differences, the rulers of the two big Maghreb neighbours share some important traits. They fear Islamist revolutionaries and are offering a small share of power to selected critics of their own regimes. They think this necessary to win friends abroad, to help stability at home and to promote economic reform - without unduly upsetting vested interests. Their real, radical opponents remain tightly restricted or outlawed.

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