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  • Demonstrators attend an anti-government rally in Algiers, Algeria December 31, 2019.

    Demonstrators attend an anti-government rally in Algiers, Algeria December 31, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 January 2020
Opinion

Several important posts were kept unchanged, apparently signaling continuity in the state’s major policies.

Newly-elected President of Algeria Abdelmadjid Tebboune appointed Thursday the members of his new cabinet led by Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad who was nominated Saturday. 

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Tebboune and Djerad have kept several important posts unchanged, apparently signaling continuity in the state’s major policies. Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum, Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab and Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud will continue in their positions.

Abderahmane Raouya was reappointed minister of finance after he served at the same post from 2017 until last March when he was replaced.

The post of deputy defense minister, an important role in a country where the top generals have held great political influence, has not yet been filled. It was held by Ahmed Gaed Salah who died of a heart attack at age 79 last week.

The announcement of the new government came as the country is enduring its worst political and economic crisis in years, and complex political and economic challenges await the newly constituted government

Mass protests started in February with demonstrators demanding the resignation of years-long ruler Abdelaziz Bouteflika but also the replacement of the whole political elite that has been governing the country for decades. 

After Bouteflika’s ousting in April, election to replace him was delayed twice as protesters rejected it saying the same establishment was still in place.

The new head of state was eventually elected in December in a vote dubbed illegitimate by the protesters, winning 58 percent on an extremely low turnout.

Tebboune offered to dialogue with the protesters but the latter continued to stage regular demonstration since he was elected.

The North African country is a major energy exporter and depends on its oil and gas sales for more than half of the government's revenue. However, sales have fallen since oil prices began to drop in 2014 and Algeria’s foreign currency reserves have more than halved since then.

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