After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. Algeria's primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), was established in 1954 as part of the struggle for independence and has largely dominated politics since. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, with the backing of the military, won the presidency in 1999 in an election widely viewed as fraudulent. He was reelected to a second term in 2004 and overwhelmingly won a third term in 2009, after the government amended the constitution in 2008 to remove presidential term limits. Longstanding problems continue to face Bouteflika. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in 2006 merged with al Qaeda to form al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb, which has launched an ongoing series of kidnappings and bombings targeting the Algerian Government. The government in 2011 introduced political reforms in response to the Arab Spring, including lifting the 19-year-old state of emergency restrictions and increasing women's quotas for elected assemblies. Political protest activity in the country remained low in 2012, but small, sometimes violent socioeconomic demonstrations by disparate groups continued to be a common occurrence.