The Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, has reshuffled his governing cabinet, with long-standing energy minister Chakib Khelil the highest profile casualty of the change.
The government announced the reshuffle in a 28 May statement accredited to Bouteflika. No reason was given for the move.
The most notable change came from the appointment of Youcef Yousfi as Energy and Mines Minster, replacing Khelil, who had held the post since 1999. The former energy minister has been “assigned new duties”, the government statement said.
Yousfi was the previous energy minister, a post he held from 1997 to 1999, prior to which he was the chief executive at state energy firm Sonatrach. Former government roles include stints as foreign minister and ambassador to the UN.
Analysts believe that the decision to remove Khelil from his post is linked to the corruption investigation into senior Sonatrach executives including former chief executive Mohamed Meziane, with whom he was seen as sharing close ties.
Meziane was removed from duty on 12 January along with Boumediene Belkacem, vice-president for exploration and production, Benamar Zenasni, vice-president for pipelines and Chawki Rahal, vice-president for marketing (MEED 17:1:10).
The executives were removed in a probe ordered by Bouteflika. It was conducted by military intelligence officers who looked into corruption charges relating to undisclosed contract awards.
The other major change to the cabinet was the appointment of Mustapha Bendaba as Minister of Trade, replacing the outgoing Hachemi Djiaaboub, who has also been “assigned new duties”, the statement said.
The cabinet is now made up of:
- Prime Minister – Ahmed Ouyahia
- Vice Prime Minister – Nourredine Zerhouni
- State Minister, Personal Representative of the Head of State – Abdelaziz Belkhadem
- National Defence Deputy Minister – Abdelmalek Gueniazia
- Interior and Local Authorities Deputy Minister – Dahou Ould Kablia
- Foreign Minister – Mourad Medelci
- Justice Minister – Tayeb Belaiz
- Finance Minister – Karim Djoudi
- Energy and Mines Minister – Youcef Yousfi
- Water Resources Minister – Abdelmalek Sellal
- Prospective Planning and Statistics Minister – Abdelhamid Temmar
- Religious Affairs and Waqf Minister – Bouabdallah Ghlamallah
- Mujahedeen Minister – Mohamed Cherif Abbes
- Town Planning and Environment Minister – Cherif Rahmani
- Transport Minister – Amar Tou
- National Education Minister – Boubekeur Benbouzid
- Agriculture and Rural Development Minister – Rachid Benaissa
- Public Works Minister – Amar Ghoul
- National Solidarity and Family Minister – Said Barkat
- Culture Minister – Khalida Toumi
- Trade Minister – Mustapha Ben Bada
- Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister – Rachid Harroubia
- Relations with Parliament Minister – Mahmoud Khedri
- Professional Education and Training Minister – El Hadi Khaldi
- Housing and Urban Planning Minister – Nourredine Moussa
- Labour, Employment and Social Security Minister – Tayeb Louh
- Health, Population and Hospital Reform Minister – Djamel Ould Abbes
- Tourism and Craft Industry Minister – Smail Mimoun
- Youth and Sports Minister – Hachemi Djiar
- Industry, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise, and Investment Promotion Minister – Mohamed Benmeradi
- Post and Communication and Information Technologies Minister – Moussa Benhamadi
- Fishing and Halieutic Resources Minister – Abdallah Khanafou
- Communications Minister – Nacer Mehal
- Foreign Minister for African and Maghreb Affairs Deputy Minister – Abdelkader Messahel
- Minister of National Solidarity and Family, in charge of Family and Women’s Affairs Deputy Minister – Nouara Saadia Djaafar
- Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, in charge of Scientific Research Deputy Minister – Souad Bendjaballah
- Prospective Planning and Statistics Deputy Minister – Ali Boukrami