ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has named a close ally as prime minister after his party dominated recent parliamentary elections.
Bouteflika appointed Abdelmalek Sellal late Monday.
Sellal had run several campaigns for the president and was water minister. Sellal replaces Ahmed Ouyahia, who was from a different party that was allied to Bouteflika’s FLN.
There have been suggestions that Ouyahia’s close relationship with Algeria’s powerful generals could make him a rival to Bouteflika. Ouyahia is expected to run for president against the FLN candidate in 2014.
In choosing Sellal, Bouteflika may be looking to consolidate his power after his party’s surprise victory in May’s parliamentary elections.
The Islamist parties had been widely-expected to do better. Many have prospered in elections around the region following the Arab Spring.