Algerian prime minister resigns following election results

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune accepts resignation of Abdelaziz Djerad and appoints him as caretaker prime minister.

Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad addresses parliament members during a voting session on constitutional reforms in the capital Algiers [File: Ryad Kramdi/AFP]

Algeria’s president has accepted the prime minister’s resignation, paving the way for the formation of a new government following parliamentary election results.

According to a statement on Thursday by the Algerian presidency, Abdelmadjid Tebboune accepted the resignation of the government led by Abdelaziz Djerad and appointed him as caretaker premier until a new cabinet is formed.

Djerad’s resignation follows a parliamentary election on June 12 that was marked by a low turnout and no majority winner after two years of mass protests and political turmoil.

The vote was boycotted by the long-running Hirak protest movement, and at just 23 percent, the turnout was the lowest ever recorded in an Algerian election.

The National Liberation Front (FLN), Algeria’s biggest political party, was the winner of the general election, gaining 98 seats in the 407-seat parliament.

The result was better than expected for the FLN, which emerged from Algeria’s long struggle for independence from France in 1962 and was the country’s sole party until the first multiparty elections in 1990.

But the party of longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika had been considered moribund after the ailing president resigned under pressure from the army following weeks of mass Hirak protests in early 2019.

New political landscape

According to the Algerian constitution, the president begins consultations with the leaders of the winning parties to nominate a new prime minister after accepting the resignation of the government.

The military-dominated establishment believes replacing the parliament and constitution is the best way to end the biggest crisis in 10 years, a source told Reuters news agency. The Hirak protest movement is demanding an uprooting of the entire system.

Independents won 84 seats and the Islamist-leaning Movement of Society for Peace 65, while the pro-establishment Democratic National Rally party won 58 seats.

The Future Party secured 48 seats, while the National Building Movement won 39 seats, followed by the Justice and Development Front party with two seats.

With these results, a coalition of at least three parliamentary blocs is required to form a majority in parliament for 204 seats.

The new parliament will be inaugurated by July, before naming a prime minister and forming a government reflecting the new political landscape.

Algeria remains an important gas supplier to southern European countries and is a partner of the United States in the fight against armed groups in the region.

A new government will have to tackle a deep financial and economic crisis due to a fall in oil prices.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies