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    Messali Hadj

    Ahmed Messali Hadj

    Ahmed Messali Hadj, (born May 16, 1898, Tlemcen, Algeria - died June 3, 1974, Gouvieux, France), revolutionary Algerian nationalist leader.

    Messali emerged in 1926 as the head of an Algerian workers’ association in Paris and spent most of the rest of his life forming pro-independence organisations, militating both in France and Algeria, suffering imprisonment, and taking part in underground activities. 

    Messali’s first party, the Étoile Nord-Africaine (North African Star), was dissolved by the French in 1929 after he called for revolt against their colonial rule. In March 1937 he founded the Parti Populaire Algérien (PPA; Algerian Popular Party), which was suppressed only to reemerge in October 1946 as the Mouvement pour le Triomphe des Libertés Démocratiques (MTLD; Movement for the Triumph of Democratic Liberties). 

    His influence, however, declined dramatically in the postwar period. In 1954 he formed the Mouvement National Algérien (Algerian National Movement), but this organisation was unable to compete with the Front de Liberation Nationale (National Liberation Front, FLN), a rival party, which came to lead the Algerian struggle for independence. He became politically isolated and spent his final years in France.

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