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13.12.2019 23:12 News >> Algeria's New President: Longtime Official Who Praised Protests

Algeria's New President: Longtime Official Who Praised Protests

Abdelmajid Tebboune, 74, seen by some as member of old regime, but was sacked from premiership by Bouteflika.

Abdelmajid Tebboune, 74, the winner of this week's presidential polls in Algeria, has a long history of public service, including a brief stint at prime minister, but this year praised protests in the country that led its longtime leader to step down.
With a low turnout of 40% and amid continuing protests, Tebboune secured 58% of the vote.
Tebboune held ministerial positions under the reign of longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika, including culture and communication minister in 1999 and housing and urban affairs minister in 2000-2001.
Tebboune served as prime minister for only 81 days before being removed in August 2017. Bouteflika, who was forced to resign this April following nationwide protests, sacked Tebboune for his attempt to take measures against business tycoons loyal to the regime.
Born in 1945 in the eastern Naama province, he studied at the National School of Administration and graduated in 1969 with a degree in economics and finance.
Tebboune was appointed to various administrational positions and between 1984 and 1991 served separate terms as the mayors of Tiaret, Adrar, and Tizi Ouzou.
Though known for his affiliation with the old regime, Abdelmajid Tebboune praised the protest movement in Algeria that began this February yet always without criticizing the military elite.
"It was a blessed movement that saved the country from a political catastrophe," he once told local media.
- 54 commitments
The newly elected president's electoral program consists of 54 "commitments" to be realized during his five-year term.
On top of Tebboune's agenda is "the establishment of a new Republic that meets the aspiration of the people" and "the promotion of a participatory democracy."
He promises to implement a set of "comprehensive reforms" that affect all state institutions.
Tebboune, who ran as an independent candidate, stressed in a televised presidential debate the need to revise the constitution and called for "a genuine separation of powers."
He said that most of Algeria's problems including unemployment can only be tackled through rebuilding a strong economy to replace the country's "undeveloped and rentier economy."
Tebboune said that he will support the youth's small business, startups, and try to "integrate them in the knowledge economy."
"Youth cannot remain marginalized," he added.
"Algerian youth must take a forefront role" in the future of the country's development in Algeria, he said.
His economic roadmap as presented from his electoral commitments will center on implementing trade open to the global economy -- especially the Arab Free Trade Area (ZALE) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) -- along with reviving Algeria's negotiations to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Still seen by many as one of the symbols of the Bouteflika regime, Tebboune pledged during his campaign that his political program will meet the demands protesters made in April. -



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