Algeria's Bouteflika names new cabinet

2014-05-05 21:23
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika at the People's Palace in the capital. (Farouk Batiche, AFP)

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika at the People's Palace in the capital. (Farouk Batiche, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Algiers - Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Monday named the first cabinet of his fourth term in office, without managing to win over opposition figures as his reappointed prime minister had hoped.

The announcement of Algeria's new government comes a week after the 77-year-old Bouteflika was sworn in after his landslide re-election in April despite his poor health preventing him from campaigning and with five opposition parties urging a boycott.

The 34-member cabinet, dominated by technocrats, sees most key senior ministers holding onto their posts, including Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, who had stepped down in February to run Bouteflika's election campaign.

The key portfolios being retained are Ramtane Lamamra (foreign affairs), Yayeb Belaiz (interior), Tayb Louh (justice), Youcef Yousfi (energy) and General Ahmed Gaid-Salah as deputy defence minister.

"The key positions are still held by the presidential clan," said political analyst Rachid Tlemcani.

Karim Djoudi, who has headed the finance ministry since 2007, is stepping down for health reasons, according to informed sources, and will be replaced by Mohamed Djellab, who worked under him in the outgoing cabinet.

Another figure leaving the cabinet is culture minister Khalida Toumi, a former opposition member and leading Algerian feminist who eventually rallied behind Bouteflika, joining his government in 2002.

She will be succeeded by Nadia Labidi, a professor at Algiers university and one of seven women in the new cabinet, with Nouria Benghebrit, another university teacher, heading the education ministry.

The government is tasked with implementing the president's political programme, under the constitution which was amended in 2008 to remove the two-term limit barring Bouteflika from re-election.

The ailing leader has appeared in public very rarely, and always in a wheelchair, since suffering a stroke last year.

Opposition spurns offer

Bouteflika vowed in his campaign, conducted on his behalf by a team of allies, to pursue constitutional reform during his fourth term in office, strengthening the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary.

He also pledged to promote the rights of the opposition, which plays a very minor role in Algerian politics.

But the opposition parties spurned an offer by Sellal to take part in a coalition government.

The Socialist Forces Front was the first to turn down the invitation, with its leadership saying the veteran opposition party had rejected two ministerial posts, preferring to dedicate itself to "building a national consensus" and preparing for an all-party conference.

The Worker's Party, led by Louisa Hanoune, the only female candidate in the presidential race, also refused to join the government.

Political observers said the move was largely expected.

"The powers that be have shown their arrogance towards the opposition and social movements," said Tlemcani, describing the cabinet re-shuffle as a "non-event."

Rachid Grim, another analyst, said the only political significance of the new government line-up was that "we are continuing on the same path."

Bouteflika remains popular with many Algerians who credit him with helping to end the devastating civil war in the 1990s, with his campaign team highlighting the stability achieved during his 15 years in power.

But others have clamoured for change, including the protest movement Barakat ("Enough") formed to oppose his re-election, amid anger at the government's failure to improve the lives of ordinary Algerians despite the North African country's vast natural wealth.

Read more on:    abdelaziz bouteflika  |  algeria  |  north africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.