Former president of Algeria;
Born: April 14, 1929; Died: October 6, 2012 .
Chadli Bendjedid, who has died aged 83 of cancer, was a former president of Algeria who presided over a series of political reforms that introduced a multi-party political system with competitive legislative and municipal elections, only to be overthrown in a military coup.
When an Islamist party swept the first round of parliamentary elections in 1991, Algeria's powerful generals stepped in, ousted Mr Bendjedid and cancelled the elections. The coup prompted an armed resistance that turned into a decade-long civil war that tore the country apart and claimed at least 200,000 lives.
Mr Bendjedid was born into a peasant family in the eastern village of Bouteldja, on the Mediterranean coast. He joined National Liberation Front (FLN) guerrillas shortly after the rebellion against French colonial rule began in 1954. He rose to become a battalion commander and after independence was appointed military commander of the region around Constantine. Two years later he rose to take charge of the area around Oran, the country's second city.
In 1965 Mr Bendjedid, an avowed socialist, took part in a coup to overthrow Ahmed Ben Bella, the FLN leader and independent Algeria's first president. He was promoted colonel in 1969 and succeeded to the presidency in 1978. In 1988 Mr Bendjedid dismissed both his prime minister and head of military security and organised two referendums that sealed constitutional and electoral reforms. This followed public outrage at a brutal military quelling of protests sparked by a slumping economy and soaring food prices.
The Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) was one of 39 parties formed as a result.
It won the first round of voting in an election in December 1991. The second round of voting was never held after the army cancelled the elections and Mr Bendjedid was forced to resign. Mr Bendjedid left the public arena but his memoirs are due to be published next month.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.