National Post (Latest Edition)
SAUDI DISS IDENTS FORM NEW PARTY IN FREE- SPEECH BID
A daring new political party founded by exiled Saudi activists is challenging the country’s rulers with a campaign to bring free speech and democracy to the ultraconservative Gulf state. The National Assembly Party, founded by a band of Saudi artists, scholars and dissidents, has called for an end to political repression in the kingdom and hopes to become Saudi Arabia’s de facto opposition. Professor Madawi al- Rasheed, the party’s London-based spokeswoman, said the number of Saudi dissidents living abroad has reached a “critical mass” and that the group now plans to unite them as a pro-democracy movement. “This party builds on the active will of a generation of Saudis who have called for political and civil reform, rather than cosmetic reform,” she said.