Head of the Algerian Workers' Party Louisa Hanoune gives a speech during a political meeting ahead of next month's presidential election on April 8, 2014 in Kolea, a town in Tipaza Province, northern Algeria. (AFP PHOTO/FAROUK BATICHE)
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Benflis was absent from the last leadership contest, in 2009, in which Hanoune came a distant second, officially scoring 4.2 percent to Bouteflika's landslide 90.2 percent, although she alleged widespread fraud.A nationalist and a communist, Hanoune is often described as "Algeria's Chavez". A charismatic orator, Hanoune raised the Trotskyist Worker's Party, which was founded secretly in the 1980s, to the ranks of one of the main political parties in the National Assembly.Her convictions were forged in an uncompromising struggle to annul the Family Code, passed in 1984 and still standing, which relegates Algerian women to the status of second class citizens. But unlike other Algerian feminists, she isn't considered part of the Westernized elite who speak French and are widely despised among the general public.
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