Veteran Algeria opposition leader steps down at 86

Agence France Presse

Published — Saturday 22 December 2012

Last update 22 December 2012 11:17 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

ALGIERS: Veteran Algerian dissident Hocine Ait Ahmed is to step down as leader of the Socialist Forces Front which he has led since founding it in 1963, he said in a letter obtained by AFP yesterday.
Ait Ahmed, 86, is the sole surviving member of the nationalist leadership that launched the war for independence from French colonial rule on Nov. 1, 1954.
“The time has come for me to pass the baton. I will not present myself for the party leadership next year,” he wrote in the letter to the party’s national council which met in Algiers on Friday.
But he pledged to continue to “listen to the activists and militants and to remain in close contact with the ethics committee and the national secretariat.”
Born on Aug. 20, 1926 in Ain El-Hamman in the Kabylie region, east of the capital, Ait Ahmed was elected to Algeria’s first post-independence parliament but fell out with president Ahmed Ben Bella and founded the FFS to lead an uprising against his rule.
He was arrested in 1964 and sentenced to death but later pardoned.
He escaped in April 1966 to settle in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he lived in exile for 23 years before returning to Algiers in December 1989.
In July 1992, shortly after the outbreak of Algeria’s devastating civil war, he went back into exile, from where he was a leading champion of dialogue with the Islamist opposition.
In January 1995, he signed the Sant’Egidio agreement with the Islamic Salvation Front in Rome.
He had planned to stand for president in 1999 but he and five other candidates withdrew alleging fraud.
He still lives in Switzerland. The FFS holds 27 seats in the 462-member national assembly.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: A number of parents have complained about the lack of hygiene in schools, expressing fears about the potential spread of the MERS virus with the beginning of the new academic year. This comes in the backdrop of another death due to the deadly...
JEDDAH: Disputes over sharing of property or inheriting family business are common. But Dhahran has witnessed an unusual fight among four brothers — over donating kidney to their youngest brother.Coincidentally, all the brothers were found fit to don...
JEDDAH: A number of visually impaired citizens are expecting candidates to address their problems and make life easier for them after winning the Dec. 12 municipal elections.A section of these voters have also sought special programs so that they can...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Interior recently launched a series of training programs to upgrade the efficiency of its female staff as a new step to empower women and give them an opportunity to shine in security-related fields.Maha Frehi, the manager of...
RIYADH: Sixty-one Filipinos, who met with a vehicular accident on the day of Arafat on Nov. 5, 2011, hope to come to the Kingdom as the guests of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.Most of them could not complete the Haj rituals because of...
JEDDAH: At the start of each academic year, parents face a common and expected problem — their children are afraid of going to school.After spending five years in the arms of their mothers and siblings, children know leaving home means entering a new...

Stay Connected