Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has left his government almost unchanged in a reshuffle following his election to a third consecutive term.
Bouteflika, 72, had been urged by some commentators to bring new blood into the government to help tackle challenges that include a lingering al Qaeda insurgency, a fall in oil prices and high unemployment in the North African energy producer.
A statement from Bouteflika’s office issued yesterday said Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia would keep his job along with all other members of the cabinet except minister without portfolio Soltani Bouguerra.
No replacement was named for Bouguerra who is the leader of a party loyal to Bouteflika, Reuters notes.
Under Algerian law, the prime minister and the rest of the government are required to step down after a presidential election. Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil was among those who remained in their posts.
Algeria, a member of OPEC, is the world’s eighth biggest oil exporter and the fourth largest exporter of natural gas.
“Taking into account the international schedule, as well as internal requirements, the head of state has decided to re-appoint the government in its current composition,” Algeria’s official APS news agency quoted the statement as saying.
Bouteflika, a veteran of Algeria’s war for independence from colonial ruler France, won an April 9 presidential election with 90.24 percent of the vote.
He campaigned on a platform of continuity and stability. His supporters credit him with steering Algeria out of a civil conflict in the 1990s that killed 200,000 people, according to estimates from international non-governmental organisations.
A number of influential opposition figures boycotted the vote and afterwards alleged massive fraud. The government said there was no evidence of widespread irregularities