Algeria : Bouteflika appoints a new government expected to appease street protests

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika listens to the speech of Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi at the start of the third European Union-Africa summit in Tripoli November 29, 2010. Photo : REUTERS

NEWSROOM (ADV) – Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced a new caretaker government amid weeks of mass protests demanding his resignation, the country’s national television said on Sunday night.

Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, who took office on March 11, will head the new administration, the state TV reported.

According to the list, 21 of the country’s 27 ministers have been changed. Sabri Boukadoum, a former envoy to the United Nations, replaced Ramtane Lamamra as foreign minister. Central bank Governor Mohamed Loukal was named as finance minister.

Algeria’s army chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah, who called for Bouteflika to be declared unfit for office on Tuesday, kept his post as vice defense minister.

The cabinet reshuffle came following weeks-long protests across the North African country in late February after Bouteflika said he would seek a fifth consecutive term in an April election.

In a response to protests, the 82-year-old president on March 11 said he would not seek candidacy for the election and the vote would be postponed for an indefinite period.

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