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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 March 2019

Algeria prime minister says temporary government to be formed soon

Newly appointed Noureddine Bedoui urges opposition to take part in discussions

Algeria's new prime minister Noureddine Bedoui gives a press conference, in Algiers, Algeria. AP
Algeria's new prime minister Noureddine Bedoui gives a press conference, in Algiers, Algeria. AP

Algeria’s Prime Minister, Noureddine Bedoui, said on Thursday that a temporary government would be formed by next week, and urged the opposition to take part in talks.

“We will ensure an inclusive government that will be formed as early as next week. It would rule for a short period of time,” Mr Bedoui said in Algiers.

The new prime minister took over on Monday after Ahmed Ouyahia resigned, and following President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's decision not to run for a fifth term that would have extended his 20 years in power.

On Thursday he said the new administration would strengthen state institutions and reflect the public’s demands. He urged the opposition to take part in forming a national committee to help with the country's transitional process.

The government on Wednesday declared it was ready for talks, saying it sought a ruling system based on "the will of the people" after opposition groups rejected proposed reforms as inadequate.

“This is our chance,” Mr Bedoui said. “We call on the opposition to participate in our talks. Algeria is waiting for us to talk to engage in these discussions.

“My message to the Algerian youth is that we have heard your strong messages and have considered your recommendations. They will become a part of our new government."

The new administration is expected to include young men and women.

“We must work together, united, hand in hand, for the future our great country,” Mr Bedoui said.

“I can assure you that Algeria is strong and we are doing our best to maintain security. Our doors are open to everyone. We will listen and negotiate with everyone.”

For the next presidential elections an independent commission will oversee the process.

Mr Bouteflika has rarely appeared in public since his stroke in 2013, but pledged on Monday to work on a new era that would cater to all Algerians.

But his promise has failed to satisfy the public, who want power to be directed to a younger generation with new ideas and innovation.

Mr Bouteflika’s decision came after tens of thousands of Algerians took to the streets to voice their frustration at the country’s stagnant political system, which is concentrated in the hands of a small elite.

Updated: March 15, 2019 01:22 AM

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