Algerian court freezes FLN party activities

30 December 2003
A court in Algiers on 30 December froze the activities of the ruling party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), whose secretary general Ali Benflis will stand against President Bouteflika in next year's presidential election. The decision came in response to a complaint against Benflis lodged by a pro-Bouteflika faction within the FLN. The faction's leader, Foreign Affairs Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem, accused Benflis of 'confiscating' the FLN at a party congress in March, reported the official APS news agency.

The FLN on 3 October chose its leader and former prime minister Ali Benflis as its presidential candidate for 2004 elections. The party announced the decision at a congress on 5 October, in defiance of an Interior Ministry ruling, which had banned the meeting. The decision by the FLN is a blow to Bouteflika and means that he will not go into the elections with the backing of the party machine (MEED 8:12:03).

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