Rachid Nekkaz

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Rachid Nekkaz (Arabic: رشيد نقاز‎, Rashīd Naqqāz; born 9 January 1972), is a French-Algerian businessman and political activist.

Born in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, France from Algerian immigrants, Nekkaz studied history of philosophy at the Sorbonne before making his fortune with an Internet startup, after which he diversified into real estate. He is married to a French-Canadian.

He first came into the public eye as a potential candidate for the 2007 French presidential election. He caught media attention by purchasing the sponsorship of André Garrec, Mayor of Noron-la-Poterie, who had offered his support for auction, and tearing it up in front of the cameras.[1] However, he failed to secure the 500 endorsements required.[2] In the legislative elections of the same year, he founded his own party, standing in the 7th district of Seine-Saint-Denis and receiving only 156 votes, just over 0.5% of the ballot. He subsequently stood unsuccessfully in the 2008 municipal elections, promising €300 to every voter if elected.

In 2010 he founded the organisation "Touche pas à ma constitution" (English: "Don’t touch my constitution", a play on the slogan of the NGO SOS Racisme: Touche pas à mon pote), which pledged to pay the fine of any women convicted of wearing the burqa in public. He announced that he was committing 2 million euro to this campaign.[3] He travelled to Brussels in August 2011 to pay the fines of two women convicted for the same offence.[4]

In October 2013, Nekkaz renounced his French citizenship in order to nominate himself for the 2014 Algerian presidential election. By birth he previously held dual citizenship, but Algerian law requires the president to hold only Algerian citizenship.[5][6][7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "I'll pay burka ban fines, says French businessman". Radio France Internationale. 2010-08-11. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  2. ^ "2007 Election special" (PDF). European Race Bulletin. 2007. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  3. ^ "French police detain veil ban protesters". The Guardian. 2011-04-11. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  4. ^ "Muslim face veil fine in Belgium paid off by French businessman". The Daily Telegraph. 2011-08-17. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  5. ^ Khettab, Djamila Ould (26 October 2013). "Le candidat à la présidentielle algérienne Rachid Nekkaz n’est plus français". Algérie Focus (in French). 
  6. ^ "Qui est Rachid Nekkaz ?". nekkazpresident.com. 
  7. ^ "French-Algerian businessman makes unlikely presidential bid". Al Arabiya. 6 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Randall, Colin (6 September 2013). "'Zorro of the niqab' renounces French nationality for Algerian presidential bid". The National. 

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