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Algeria’s new PM takes office after 4 month delay

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Algeria’s new Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal took office on Tuesday promising to push ahead with reforms four months after parliamentary elections, as key ministers kept their posts in his new cabinet.

Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci, Interior Minister Daho Ould Kablia and Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi all kept their jobs in the new line-up announced on state television late on Tuesday.

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President Abdelaziz Bouteflika made the appointments “after consulting the prime minister,” the announcement from his office said.

Appointed by Bouteflika on Monday, Sellal, 64, replaces Ahmed Ouyahia, who had held the post since 2008.
“We have our work cut out for us,” Sellal said on Monday, cited by the official APS news agency.

“Our main objective is to carry on applying the (reform) programme of the president,” he added, mentioning in particular local elections due at the end of November and a planned revision of the constitution.

He also highlighted the need for the next government to breathe new life into the economy of the energy-rich country, which he said contains “important means for coping with the challenges created by the international economic changes.”

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The delay in forming a new government, which should have been announced in May after the parliamentary election that saw Bouteflika’s FLN party win 208 of the 462 seats in parliament and tighten its grip on power, has paralyzed Algerian politics.

A three-party alliance of Islamist parties, which fared much worse in the polls than had been expected, given the success of Islamists in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco, claimed widespread fraud, after winning just 49 seats.

The new prime minister, who does not belong to any political party, is a technocrat with extensive political experience who is considered close to the president.

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He has held a number of cabinet posts, most recently as minister of water resources in the outgoing government, and was closely involved in the presidential election campaigns in 2004 and 2009 that returned Bouteflika to power.

“Sellal’s nomination doesn’t come as a surprise, because he is someone well-known for his competence,” FLN spokesman Kassa Aissi told AFP.

Nevertheless, the FLN’s sweeping victory in the polls militated in favour of the party’s secretary general Abdelaziz Belkhadem, who has already served as prime minister, between 2006 and 2008, political sources said.

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Since 2004, Algeria’s government has been dominated by the presidential alliance consisting of the FLN (National Liberation Front), Ouyahia’s National Rally for Democracy (RND) and the Islamist Movement of Society for Peace (MSP).

The MSP, which quit the coalition to join the Islamist alliance, had said it would not participate in the new government “even if asked by President Bouteflika himself,” after it blamed fraud for its disappointing performance in the election.

The governing coalition and many Algerians argue that the country has already experienced the consequences of Islamism during the deadly 1991-2002 civil war and that the dynamics of the Arab Spring cannot apply in Algeria.

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[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump bashed for babbling about the weather during G7 appearance with France’s Macron: ‘Out of his depth’

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On MSNBC's "Up with David Gura," Princeton University African American studies professor Eddie Glaude harshly criticized President Donald Trump for his inability to discuss world issues at the G7 summit, saying that not only is he unprepared for diplomatic negotiations, he doesn't even understand how alliances work in general.

"Eddie, let's talk about the definitional evolution we've seen of that term, 'allies,'" said Gura. "How much of alliance has changed as a result of President Trump's role on the world stage ... How is our notion of what an ally is and what an alliance is changed?"

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Britain’s Prince Andrew denies witnessing Epstein abuse

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Britain's Prince Andrew insisted on Saturday that "at no stage" during his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein did he "witness... any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest".

The prince, Queen Elizabeth II's second son, is under heavy fire over his relationship with the disgraced US financier, and admitted in a statement on Saturday that "it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010".

"At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction."

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Trump’s mental decline compared to Reagan’s hidden Alzheimer’s in brutal MSNBC assessment

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On Saturday morning a deadly serious MSNBC panel took up Donald Trump's increasingly erratic behavior of late, which led one panelist to sincerely suggest the president needs to be evaluated by mental health officials because she believes the White House is covering for him.

Speaking with host David Gura, MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley admitted that she is no doctor, but that there are signs of the president's decline that reminded her of how Ronald Reagan's White House hid his Alzheimer's from the public.

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