Algeria to form interim government

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Algeria's newly appointed prime minister, Noureddine Bedoui, speaks during a joint news conference with deputy prime minister Ramtane Lamamra, in Algiers, Algeria March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Algeria’s newly appointed prime minister, Noureddine Bedoui, speaks during a joint news conference with deputy prime minister Ramtane Lamamra, in Algiers, Algeria March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

New Algerian Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui said on Thursday that he will set up a technocratic interim government, after mass protests forced incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to withdraw from running for a fifth term.

“This government will have a short period, and its role is to be the support for the national conference and what Algerians agree upon,” the former interior minister said at a news conference Thursday.

Bedoui said that his cabinet would be formed early next week and include representatives of the young Algerians who led the demonstrations.

He added that the government would only be in charge for a short time, urging the opposition to engage in a positive dialogue.

This is Bedoui’s first news conference since he was appointed prime minister this week. His predecessor Ahmed Ouyahia resigned in the wake of the protests.

The announcement of an interim government comes after Bouteflika announced that while he was withdrawing from the race, he would delay the long-awaited election scheduled to be held in April.  

Algerians responded by rallying across the country to denounce what many saw as the government’s attempt to extend the incumbent’s time in power.

However, Bedoui said that postponing the presidential election came in response to ”people’s will” and that an independent commission would oversee the election.

He did not specify when the election would be held.

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