Newly reelected Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has appointed old-guard figures for his fourth Cabinet after a failed attempt by the prime minister to coax opposition figures into a coalition government.
The 34-minister Cabinet unveiled Monday by the Algerian official news agency APS comes one week after Bouteflika, 77, was sworn in following a landslide victory.
Bouteflika, who was first elected in 1999, retained the presidency despite his poor health and protests from Islamist and leftist groups accusing him of perpetuating autocratic and oligarchic rule by the National Liberation Front (FLN) and a handful of army generals.
Abdelmalek Sellal, who resigned as prime minister to become Bouteflika’s presidential campaign manager, was reinstated as premier of the new Cabinet. Opposition groups rebuffed his overtures to join in a coalition.
Another campaign official, Amara Benyounes, was appointed trade minister. He was in charge of other portfolios in Bouteflika's previous Cabinets.
Youcef Yousfi, who acted as prime minister after Sellal resigned for the campaign, returned to his previous post as energy minister.
Other ministers, including Interior Minister Tayeb Belaiz and Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, retained their portfolios.
Bouteflika maintains staunch support in part because he presided over the end of the civil war that erupted in the early 1990s after the success of an Islamist party led the army to intervene in the election. The brutal conflict between the military and Islamist militants killed tens of thousands of Algerians.
Bouteflika's supporters view him as capable of ensuring stability for the oil-producing North African nation amid regional upheaval. His critics believe he will do little to resolve problems such as high youth unemployment and a housing shortage.
Tarek, a reporter from Cairo, is a visiting journalist at The Times sponsored by the Daniel Pearl Foundation in partnership with the Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships.