Algeria: Government Reshuffled But Course Unchanged

Algeria’s executive has had a major shake-up after May’s elections with the PM, energy, finance and 11 other ministers sacked. But the administration remains dominated by steadfast regime figures; significant policy changes are unlikely.

On 25 May Algeria’s President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, announced personnel changes at several heavyweight government posts in a cabinet reshuffle bringing in 12 new faces. The changes follow parliamentary elections in early May in which the regime reinforced its hold on the legislature (MEES, 19 May). But those who have waited years for change, and who have become increasingly desperate for new policies in the wake of the oil price crash in 2014, are likely to be sorely disappointed.

On the face of it, major changes have been made. Abdelmalek Sellal finally comes to the end of his tenure as prime minister, a post he held for almost five years. In March-April 2014 he stepped down for a few weeks to manage Mr Bouteflika’s campaign for election for a third presidential term, but besides that Mr Sellal has been at the helm since September 2012. His replacement is former housing minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune, an economist by training and a member of the central committee of the country’s largest party, the Front de Liberation National (FLN). (CONTINUED - 1900 WORDS)