Boumédienne, Houari

ca. 1927–1978
President of Algeria

Hoauri Boumédienne was the first vice president of ALGERIA after it won independence from France in 1962. Three years later, he led a coup against President Ahmed BEN BELLA. Boumédienne became Algeria’s president and remained in that position until his death. In his youth, Boumédienne was involved in the movement for Algerian independence. He rose to prominence as a military leader in the National Liberation Army during the Algerian War of Independence (1954–1962). Although he and Ben Bella supported each other in the early years, political differences arose between them over governing the newly independent country.

After Boumédienne staged his coup and took over the government, he kept control of the economy because he believed that it was better for economic decisions to be made by a central authority. He is credited with helping to improve the Algerian economy, but it had begun to suffer a decline by the time of his death. (See also Independence Movements.)

Boumédienne, Houari