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FLN party chief must go - ministers

10 January 2013, 10:04

Algiers - Eight ministers from Algeria's ruling National Liberation Front called in a statement on Wednesday for FLN party chief Abdelaziz Belkhadem to resign.

"The FLN ministers call on Abdelaziz Belkhadem to cede his place to a new secretary general during the next meeting of the central committee" between 31 January and 2 February, the signatories said in the statement sent to AFP.

They also urged Belkhadem to "voluntarily and from now announce his intention [to quit] to allow proper preparation for the party meeting," the statement said.

The eight who signed are the ministers of health, national solidarity, transport, higher education, information and telecommunications, agriculture, parliament relations, and Maghreb and African affairs.

"I confirm the content of the statement," FLN spokesperson Kassa Aissi told AFP.

"One of the ministers has confirmed it to me. The eight ministers are all on the central committee, the party's supreme body. Four are members of the political office, the party's management."

The ministers accuse Belkhadem of trying to use "state institutions to realise personal ambitions," and say they "no longer recognise his authority as from today," Wednesday.

Rebels inside the party which has ruled Algeria since independence from France in 1962 have accused Belkhadem of nepotism.

In legislative elections last 10 May, the FLN mustered 221 of the national assembly's 462 seats, ahead of its ally the Rally for National Democracy (RND).

The appeal to Belkhadem to step down comes after former premier Ahmed Ouyahia quit as RND secretary general after coming under pressure from within his party.

The FLN and RND are both members of the presidential alliance created in 2004 to support head of state Abdelaziz Bouteflika.



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