Bouteflika gives head of government new title

Constitutional changes in Algeria allowed President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to rename his head of government , Ahmed Ouyahia (pictured) prime minister, in a change of title and function. Most ministers will stay on.


Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika kept head of government Ahmed Ouyahia on with the new title of prime minister and changed functions Saturday following changes to the constitution.

Most of Ouyahia's ministers were also reconfirmed in their jobs except communications minister Abderrachid Boukerzaka, who was effectively replaced by former state radio head Azzedine Mihoubi.

An official statement quoted by the Algerian APS news agency said Ouyahia was told by Bouteflika to formulate a plan of action for carrying out the president's policies, which will be voted on by parliament.

The constitutional changes approved massively by parliament on Wednesday scrapped the limit on the president of serving a maximum of two five-year terms.

The 71-year-old Bouteflika, who came to power in 1999, has not specifically announced his intention to run again, but he is now expected to throw his hat into the ring once more with elections due to take place in April next year.

The vote also allows for the establishment of the post of prime minister, to be nominated by and subordinate to the president. Under the previous constitution the head of government was more autonomous.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning