Algeria unveils government little changed after polls

Algeria unveils government little changed after polls
A new Algerian government has been formed but with only few changes in top positions, contrary to what the president promised earlier this year.
2 min read
Tebboune made little changes to the new government contrary to promises made in March [Getty Images]

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune unveiled a new government Wednesday after June parliamentary elections, but with few changes in top positions, according to a statement.

While foreign minister Sabri Boukadoum was replaced by former diplomat Ramtane Lamamra, the reshuffle was limited, in contrast to comments made by Tebboune in March promising a major shift after the polls.

Former supreme court chief Abderrachid Tebbi replaces unpopular Belkacem Zeghmati as justice minister, while Ammar Belhimer remains communications minister, despite no longer being government spokesman.

The new cabinet is made up of 34 members, two fewer than the previous one, and includes four women.

Tebboune on June 30 had picked outgoing finance minister Aimene Benabderahmane as prime minister.

The June 12 polls were won by the ruling National Liberation Front, but with a much reduced share of seats, along with independents and small parties supporting Tebboune.

The new parliament will take office Thursday.

The vote saw a record 77 percent abstention amid boycott calls by the Hirak mass protest movement, that hit the streets in early 2019 to demand an end to the rule of then-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Tebboune had dismissed the historically low turnout even before the election, saying it was "not important".

The Hirak, which following Bouteflika's departure in April 2019 had continued its huge rallies for over a year to demand the rule of law and a transition to democracy, has been weakened by an official crackdown and divisions within its ranks.