Algeria's presidency unveils new government

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune was elected last month in poll marred by official turnout of less than 40 per cent

FILE PHOTO: A demonstrator's shadow is cast on a national flag during an anti-government rally in Algiers, Algeria December 24, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina/File Photo
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Newly elected Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune formed his government on Thursday, two weeks after he took office following a controversial election.

Mr Tebboune's Cabinet has 39 members whose names were announced by a presidential spokesman on state TV, rather than the usual procedure of an official statement.

He was elected last month in a poll marred by a turnout of less than 40 per cent, with a protest movement boycotting a vote it considered to be a ploy by the establishment to hold on to power.

The protests forced long-time president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down in April.

Mr Tebboune filled four of five key posts with people who were included in a reshuffled Cabinet announced two days before Mr Bouteflika was forced out.

Sabri Boukadoum will stay on as Foreign Minister and Kamel Beldjoud will continue as Interior Minister.

Mr Beldjoud held the housing portfolio under Mr Bouteflika's last prime minister, Noureddine Bedoui, who stayed in place after the president's departure in April.

Mr Beldjoud had already taken the Interior Ministry on an interim basis when his predecessor was fired on December 19.

Belkacem Zeghmati remains the Justice Minister, while Mohamed Arkab retains the Energy portfolio, in a country with significant hydrocarbons.

Abderrahmane Raouya was named as Finance Minister, having held this post between 2017 and early 2019, under Mr Bedoui's predecessor.

Five women were appointed to government positions.

Mr Tebboune also served as a prime minister under Mr Bouteflika. The president traditionally serves as Defence Minister in Algeria.

Mr Tebboune named Abdelaziz Djerad, 65, who holds a PhD in political science and served as foreign minister between 2001 and 2003, as his Prime Minister on December 28.