Little change as Algeria unveils new government

New prime minister has made only two changes in top positions

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune unveiled a new government on Wednesday following June's parliamentary elections, but there were few changes in top positions.

Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum was replaced by former diplomat Ramtane Lamamra, and former Supreme Court chief Abderrachid Tebbi replaced the unpopular Belkacem Zeghmati as justice minister. Ammar Belhimer remains communications minister, despite no longer being government spokesman.

The reshuffle was limited, despite Mr Tebboune in March promising a major shift after the polls.

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

Mr Tebboune on June 30 picked outgoing finance minister Aymen 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 Mr Tebboune.

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

Mr Tebboune had dismissed the significance of a low turnout even before the election, saying it was “not important".

The Hirak, which following Mr Bouteflika's departure in April 2019 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.

Updated: July 8th 2021, 12:03 PM