Algeria- Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika named a new cabinet on Thursday, changing key figures, including Energy Minister Noureddine Bouterfa and replacing him by state gas agency chief Mustapha Guitouni.
The minister of national solidarity and family and the minister of communications were also replaced.
Former Minister of Communications Hamid Grine had waged a fierce war on emerging private satellites and independent newspapers during the past two years under the pretext that “they lack media professionalism and ethics.”
Long-serving Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra was also left out of the cabinet with Minister for Maghreb and African affairs, Abdelkader Messahel, taking over the post. The replacement was a surprise because he is seen as one of the most qualified ministers, according to observers.
Finance Minister Hadji Baba Ammi was replaced by Abderahmane Raouia, the tax department director at the Finance Ministry.
Youssef Sharfah was appointed Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, while the Ministry of Industry and Mines was returned to Mahjoub Bada of the parliamentary National Liberation Front. He replaces Abdeslam Bouchouareb – known for his close ties with Bouteflika.
It is speculated that he was dismissed due to his involvement in corruption cases.
A relatively unknown doctor, Mokhtar Hazblawi, was appointed as minister of health, replacing Abdelmalek Boudiaf, who mismanaged the sector.
Bouteflika kept 11 ministers in their posts.