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Ahmed Ouyahia named Algerian PM

Latest update : 2008-06-23

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika named Ahmed Ouyahia as the new prime minister, replacing Abdelaziz Belkhadem. Ouyahia has led the government twice before.

Algeria named a new prime minister, Ahmed Ouyahia, to replace Abdelaziz Belkhadem, a presidential statement said Monday.
  
The 56-year-old Ouyahia is a twice former Algerian premier, having led the government from 1996 to 1998 and 2003 to 2006.
  
Belkhadem has meanwhile been named "personal representative" to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika with three members of his cabinet also leaving under the government reshuffle.
  
Both Ouyahia and Belkhadem hold senior party posts within Bouteflika's presidential alliance, and they have previously clashed over public sector pay and constitutional reform.
  
Ouyahia is secretary general of the National Democratic Rally (RND), one of the parties in the governing coalition, which also includes the dominant National Liberation Front (FNL) led by Belkhadem and the Islamist Movement of a Peaceful Society (MSP).
  
Ouyahia resigned from the post in May 2006 in the face of repeated strikes by teachers, vets, doctors, and other workers fearing job losses through privatisation of services.
  
He had come out against a general salary increase proposed by unions and supported by Belkhadem's FNL.
  
Over the last two years, he has concentrated his efforts on re-launching the RND on the ground.
  
One of Belkhadem's last acts in the job was to sign agreements at the weekend with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon on civil nuclear energy and defence partnerships.
  
The three other cabinet figures exiting the government are: Mohamed Maghlaoui, replaced by Amar Tou at the transport ministry; Boudjemaa Haichour, replaced by Hamid Bessallah, the only new member of the team at the postal, IT and communication ministry; and Fatiha Mentouri, whose post of junior finance minister charged with public sector reform is not being filled.
  
Otherwise, the reshuffle sees familiar faces switch ministries and roles.
  
Elsewhere, Algiers has accepted the nomination of David D. Pearce to replace Robert Stephen Ford as United States ambassador to the major oil producer, its foreign ministry said.

Date created : 2008-06-23

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