Overdue New Government
By: Atef Kedadra Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab).
The decision of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to reappoint Mostafa Bin Bada — a senior member of the Movement for the Society of Peace (MSP) — as minister of commerce, came as an embarrassment to the movement, which is aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood [and which had organized a general boycott of government].
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Following a four-month delay which plunged Algeria’s political scene into uncertainty, the president has named his new cabinet of ministers. Many key ministries were left unchanged, but appointments included new and opposition parties. The role the Muslim Brotherhood will play in the new government is yet uncertain.Publisher: Al-Hayat (Pan Arab)
Bouteflika Brings in Opposition Members to the New Government
Author: Atef Kedadra
First Published: September 6, 2012
Posted on: September 7 2012
Translated by: Sahar Ghoussoub
Categories : Algeria
Bouteflika named opposition ministers for the new government. He appointed pro-opposition Mohamed Saeed as minister of telecommunications. Amar Ghoul, head of the Rally for Algeria’s Hope (TAJ) kept his job as public works minister. Many leaders of new political parties joined the government, including Amara Bin Younes and Belkacem Sahili.
However, the key ministries were left untouched. The most surprising thing was the departure of Abdelaziz Belkhadem, leader of the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party, from the government, after having served as a minister of state and a personal representative of the president.
Ministers of the interior and foreign affairs, the minister-delegate to the ministry of national defense and the ministers of finance and religious affairs and mujahideens [veterans], kept their posts in the new government, which was announced on Tuesday [September 4, 2012] and is led by Prime Minister Abdul Malek Sellal.
Some of the ministers in the new government, who also serve as MPs, will be forced to give up their seats in the legislature, which will be given to the next candidate in line on their party lists, as Algerian law does not allow MPs to hold ministerial positions at the same time.
Moreover, Bouteflika has brought in a prominent member of the ruling FLN party, Abdulaziz Ziari, who is said to be keen to oust Belkhadem as the FLN secretary general. Ziari, who served as the speaker of the Algerian parliament during the last term, has been appointed as minister of health and hospital reform. The governmental reshuffle revealed many surprises, most importantly the absence of Abu Bakr Ben Bouzid, from the new government. Bouzid has served in public office for two decades. Also, Noureddin “Yazid” Zarhouni, who has served as deputy first minister over the past two years, did not participate in the new government. Long-serving executive officials such as Jamal Walad Abbas as well as Al-Saeed Barakat were no longer present in the government. Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia has been also removed from his post, contrary to the speculation that circulated during the past few days.
President Bouteflika kept the positions of Abdelmalek Guenainzia as minister-delegate to the ministry of national defense, Mourad Medelci as minister of finance and Daho Ould Kablia as minister of the interior. Ministers Bouadballah Ghlamallah and Mohamed Cherif Abbas remained in office as minister of religious affairs, and minster of mujahideens respectively. Unsurprisingly, Abdelkader Messahel kept his post as minister-delegate to the foreign affairs ministry, in charge of Maghreban and African affairs.
Karim Djoudi has been appointed minister of finances. Amar Ghoul, unsurprisingly, remained in office as minister of public works, following his resignation from MSP after he expressed his rejection of its decision to leave the government.
Furthermore, Bouteflika reappointed Youssef Yousfi as minister of energy and mines, Rachid Benaissa as minister of agriculture and Rachid Harraoubia as minister of higher education.
Al-Hadi Khalidi was replaced by Mohamed Mubaraki as minister of vocational education and training. Noureddine Moussa was replaced with Abdel Majid Tabboun as minister of housing. Tabboun previously oversaw the housing portfolio during the government of Ismail Hamdani, when Bouteflika succeeded Liamnie Zeroual, as the fifth president of Algeria.
The departure of the minister of rural planning, Hamid Tamar came as a surprise, as he was affiliated with Bouteflika. Tamar was replaced with economy expert Bashir Mesetafa. Bouteflika has also reappointed Khalida Toumi as minister of culture.
Tayeb Louh remained in office as minister of labor and social protection. Abdelaziz Ziadi replaced Jamal Walad Abbas as minister of health. Amar Tou also kept his post as minister of transportation. Moussa Bin Hamadi has been re-appointed as minister of postal services and technologies of information and communication. Mohamed Bin Moradi has been appointed as minister of tourism, while Sherif Rehmani replaced him as minister of industry and medium-sized enterprises. Amara Bin Younes, head of the Algerian Popular Party, replaced Rehmani as minister of urban and rural planning and environment.
Bouteflika kept MSP minister Mustafa Bin Bada in his post as minister of commerce, which was a source of embarrassment for the movement. Bin Bada is one of the leaders who declared their commitment to the movement decision to boycott the government. Amar Ghoul, on the other hand, preferred to establish his own new party (TAJ) in order to keep his position. In light of Bouteflika’s decision, the MSP finds itself at a crossroads. The movement will either request that its minister resign or will find a way to keep him in office. It is possible that Bin Bada will declare his resignation from the “Brotherhood,” noting that his two fellow party members, Ismail Maymoun, minister of tourism, and Khanvo, minister of fishing and fisheries resources, had been relieved of their duties.
The appointment of Mohamed Al-Saeed, leader of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), as minister of telecommunication to replace Nasser Mahl, was a surprising change in the government reshuffling. A new post was introduced in the new government, which will be responsible for tourism. It was granted to Mohamed Amin Haj Saeed. Mohamed Sharfi was reappointed as minister of justice, while Mohamed Tohmi replaced Al-Hashimi Djiar as minister of youth and sports.
Nassib Hussein, Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Works, has been appointed as minister of water resources. Belkacem Sahili joined the crew to replace Halim bin Atallah, minister in charge of the national community abroad.
The absence of Belkhadem from the new government came as a big surprise, as he has been very close to President Bouteflika over the past 13 years. Moreover, the departure of Ahmed Ouyahia, leader of the National Rally for Democracy (RND), was a big surprise as well.
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