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Algeria Replaces PM Tebboune with Ouyahia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Ahmed Ouyahia, leader of Rally for National Democracy (RND), gives a speech during a parliamentary election campaign in Algiers, Algeria April 29, 2017. Picture taken April 29, 2017. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

Algeria’s presidency has named Ahmed Ouyahia as prime minister, replacing Abdelmadjid Tebboune after just three months in the job, the president’s office said on Tuesday.

The statement from President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s office gave no reason for the change. Ouyahia, 65, has served three terms as prime minister and most recently was Bouteflika’s chief of staff.

Ouyahia will likely be seen as a steadying influence as Algeria tries to carry out economic adjustments to cope with a fall in oil prices that has slashed state revenues.

He is also leader of the National Rally for Democracy (RND), a party close to the presidency that increased its number of seats in May’s parliamentary election.

Moves to reduce subsidies and imports and diversify Algeria’s oil-dependent economy have created political divisions over how far to push reforms.

The North African state’s political system is often opaque, and Bouteflika, 80, has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013.

Political jostling around him has intensified as his health has waned, fueling questions about the shape of any transition if he steps down before his term ends in 2019.

In the run up to Tebboune’s dismissal, there was media speculation that he had fallen out of favor because of differences with Ali Haddad, a prominent businessman close to the presidency.

Tebboune was also perceived to be encroaching on foreign policy, seen as a preserve of the presidency, after he held a meeting with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe earlier this month, said one senior source who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.