Algeria:Energy, finance ministers replaced in reshuffle

President Bouteflika

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika named a new cabinet on Thursday, replacing key posts including the energy minister, finance minister and a long-serving foreign minister, state news agency APS said.

Energy Minister Noureddine Bouterfa, who has been active in pushing for oil output cuts and was in Vienna for an OPEC meeting when the announcement was made, has been replaced with state gas agency chief Mustapha Guitouni, the agency said.

Finance Minister Hadji Baba Ammi has been replaced Abderahmane Raouia, the tax department director at the finance ministry.

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.

No reason was given for the changes in cabinet makeup but they came after this month’s legislative elections where ruling FLN party and its allies extended their majority control.

Bouterfa had been focussed on OPEC member Algeria’s recent attempts to improve ties with energy companies and increase output while Ammi worked on initial economic reforms to help offset the impact of the slump in world oil prices.

On Wednesday, Algeria’s presidency named former housing minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune as prime minister, replacing Abdelmalek Sellal, who had been in the post since 2012 and had briefly stepped down to campaign for Bouteflika in 2014.

The North African state is in the middle of economic adjustments to cope with a fall in world oil prices that slashed its energy revenues. Bouteflika, 80, has also rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013.

By Lamine Chikhi; writing by Patrick Markey)

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