Algeria appoints finance minister Ayman Benabderrahmane | Middle East News


Ayman Benabderrahmane, 60, has been tasked with forming a new government after the parliamentary elections.

Algeria’s president has appointed finance minister Ayman Benabderrahmane as prime minister, calling on him to form a new government as the country seeks to stem a deep socio-economic crisis.

The presidency on Wednesday announced the appointment of the 60-year-old to replace Abdelaziz Djerad, who resigned last week after the June 12 parliamentary elections.

“Aimene Benabderrahmane has been appointed prime minister and has been tasked with holding consultations with political parties and civil society to form a government as soon as possible,” the presidency statement said.

OPEC member Algeria has come under financial pressure due to declining revenues from oil and gas, the state’s main source of finance, which has led to a growing trade deficit.

The crisis has been further exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the government to delay several planned investment projects in various sectors.

The 45-million-nation North African nation has yet to diversify its economy away from oil and gas despite attempts to develop the non-energy sector.

According to World Bank data, unemployment stands at more than 12%.

Elected in December 2019, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has repeatedly said he will carry out political and economic reforms after mass protests demanding the departure of the ruling elite forced his predecessor Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign in April 2019.

On Wednesday, Tebboune, who had previously expressed dissatisfaction with Djerad and his cabinet, thanked him for leading the government “in difficult conditions,” particularly the coronavirus pandemic.

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