Bendjedid, Chadli shăd´lē bĕnjədēd´ [key], 1929–2012, Algerian army officer and political leader, president of Algeria (1979–92). A noncommissioned officer in France's Algerian army, he fought in Indochina, but in 1954 joined the National Liberation Front to fight for Algerian independence. An ally of Houari Boumedienne, Bendjedid sided with him in his overthrow (1965) of Ahmed Ben Bella. Bendjedid became a colonel in 1969 and when President Boumedienne died in 1978, he was the only candidate for the presidency. In the late 1980s Bendjedid instituted a multiparty system and other reforms, but when Islamists were poised to win power in 1992 he was forced out by the army and a military crackdown ensued.
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