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Bouteflika’s Top Aide Criticizes Government Policies | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Reuters photo

Algeria- The top aide to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has criticized the government’s economic and good governance performance as part of the parliamentary elections campaign that enters its second week on Sunday.

Government circles say there is a huge discord between the aide, Ahmed Ouyahia, and Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal over their ambition to succeed Bouteflika in 2019.

Ouyahia is the head of Rally for National Democracy (RND) party that has been supporting Bouteflika’s policies for the past 18 years.

But Ouyahia began criticizing the government in daily meetings he has been holding with his party members during the campaign for the May 4 legislative elections. He also uploaded videos on social media networks and the party’s website for the same purpose.

In his speech before the party members, Ouyahia announced that he objects the suspension of public facilities construction – such as schools, hospitals – and the provision of gas and drinking water to the city, all measures taken by the government to face the scarcity of water resources due to the drop in oil prices.

“We should allocate funds to complete the development programs and to resolve the critical issues. I believe that the government can’t delay the delivery of water to citizens in far regions,” he said.

The criticism was seen as Ouyahia leading a party against Bouteflika’s policies. His rhetoric is similar to the speeches of any radical party that objects the government’s policies such as the Rally for Culture and Democracy, the Socialist Forces Front or even the Islamic Salvation Front.

As speculation mounts about Bouteflika’s health and on who would succeed him at the end of his term in 2019, the prime minister visits every week one of the 48 states under the pretext of following up the president’s projects. But observers believe that his moves are aimed at securing the presidential seat.