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New Algerian PM to form ‘technocratic government’

Published : Friday, 15 March, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 149

A demonstrator offers a flower to a police officer as teachers and students take part in a protest demanding immediate political change in Algiers, Algeria on March 14. 	Photo : Reuters

A demonstrator offers a flower to a police officer as teachers and students take part in a protest demanding immediate political change in Algiers, Algeria on March 14. Photo : Reuters

ALGIERS, Mar 14: Algeria's new prime minister, Noureddine Bedoui, said on Thursday he would form an inclusive and technocratic government that involved young Algerians who have been staging protests to push for quick political changes.

His promise at a news conference in Algiers comes after ailing President Abelaziz Bouteflika decided not to run for a fifth term in the face of mass demonstrations. Bedoui was appointed premier on Monday after Ahmed Ouyahia resigned. The prime minister urged the opposition to accept dialogue. But lawyers and activists who protesters have chosen to lead the drive for reforms are in no mood to compromise and say they will not negotiate, at least for now.

He added that the new government would be in charge for a "short period of time" and would support the work of a national conference for a political transition. The prime minister urged the opposition to accept dialogue, but lawyers and activists behind the protests are in no mood to compromise and say they will not negotiate, at least not now.

"What we have to understand is that the government is trying to accelerate the pace of negotiations in order to avoid mass protests on Friday," Amina Afaf Chaieb, an activist at Ibtykar Citizen Movement, told Reuters from Paris on Thursday. Bouteflika, who has been in power for 20 years and has rarely appeared in public since a stroke in 2013, has promised to work for a new era that would cater to all Algerians.      -REUTERS



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