The system of power in 1993, like that between 1965 and 1978, was a military dictatorship with few legal institutions defining it. Following the coup of January 1992 that ousted Benjedid and eliminated constitutional rule, a collective presidency was established, responsible for implementing political authority. The national constitution has been suspended (a referendum on a new constitution and political structure was expected to be held in late fall 1993), so all political powers have been assumed on a de facto basis with almost no limitations.
High Council of State
The High Council of State (Haut Conseil d'État--HCE) is the official name for the collective presidency that governed Algeria in late 1993. A five-member council, it was presided over by Ali Kafi, a former War of Independence veteran and founding member of the FLN, serving as head of state. The prime minister was Redha Malek, a distinguished figure of the preindependence and postindependence periods, who served his country in several diplomatic posts including that of ambassador to the United States (1979-82); in the latter capacity he was instrumental in negotiating the release of United States hostages in Iran in 1981. The HCE replaced the High Security Council, the transitional government that assumed power immediately following the coup, and was dominated by military officials, although it has been marked by frequent changes of personnel. Its mandate was due to expire at the end of 1993, when it was scheduled to hand over power to a new transition government that would be entrusted with resuming the democratic process.
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