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Algeria: Former finance chief named as new prime minister

Aymen Benabderrahmane appointed to role following heavily underattended elections on 12 June
Algeria's then finance minister, Aymen Benabderrahmane, attends a senate meeting in Algiers, on 28 December 2020 (AFP)

Algeria's former finance minister has been named as prime minister in the wake of the country's 12 June elections.

Algeria's president appointed Ayman Benabderrahmane, who had been the country's finance minister since June 2020, into the role on Wednesday and asked him to form a new government.

The presidency announced his appointment to replace Abdelaziz Djerad, who resigned last week, as the country struggle under financial pressure as a result of lower oil and gas revenues - the main source of state finances - causing a widening trade deficit.

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The crisis has worsened further after the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing the government to delay several planned investment projects in various sectors.

The North African nation of 45 million people has not yet managed to diversify the economy away from oil and gas despite attempts to develop the non-energy sector.

Elected in December 2019, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has said repeatedly he will carry out political and economic reforms after mass protests demanding the departure of the ruling elite forced his predecessor Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign in April 2019.

Algeria's ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) gained the most seats out of any party in the parliamentary elections but failed to reach a majority, in a vote marred by boycotts and low turnout. 

Fewer than a quarter of registered voters in Africa's largest country turned up to vote, with the FLN winning a total of 105 seats, falling short of the 204 seats needed to control Algeria's parliament.