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Algerian Hirak Activists Launch New Political Party

Algerian Hirak Activists Launch New Political Party

Thursday, 1 October, 2020 - 10:30
People carry national flags during a protest seeking the departure of the ruling elite, as the country prepares for the presidential election in Algiers, Algeria April 12, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

Activists from the Algerian mass protest movement, known as Hirak, have launched the NCP party.

The names and photos of 14 founders - all of them being prominent figures from the protest movement that erupted on Feb. 22 against ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika - were posted on social media this week.

Prominent activist Mouadh Tabainet posted on his Facebook page that the 14 figures will be in charge with implementing the party’s political plan until its founding conference is held.

He saw it as a challenging mission yet attainable for those who have faith in the NCP.

The 14-member team selected Dr. Saif Al-Islam ben Attia to be the coordinator of activities that would set the stage for the party’s political plan. Ben Attia is further nominated to be the president of the party if the interior ministry gives it a license.

The Hirak suspended its protests in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the past weeks, there have been several attempts to revive demonstrations but the security forces apprehended and imprisoned protesters on charges of “encouraging unlicensed protests” and “jeopardizing national unity.”

Activists remain skeptical towards the legitimacy of the presidential elections that took place at the end of last year and resulted in the victory of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. For this reason, they demand a radical regime change.

The president’s loyalists consider that the constitution to be submitted to a referendum in November “meets the key demand of the Hirak, which is putting the corrupt in jail.”

Meanwhile, National Liberation Front (FLN) former secretary general Mohammed Jamiei was released from prison after spending a year behind bars. He had been accused of “forging official documents” on real estate.

Activists were dissatisfied with his release and considered it a “counter revolution.”

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