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Algeria pro-government parties divided over Bouteflika succession

Algerian President, AbdelAziz Bouteflika [Wikipedia]
Algerian President, AbdelAziz Bouteflika [Wikipedia]

The succession of Algerian President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, has once again stirred political differences between the country’s main pro-government political parties, this time between Secretary General of the National Liberation Front, Gamal Ould Abbas, and his main ally in power, the current Prime Minister and Secretary General of the National Rally for Democracy Party, Ahmed Ouyahia.

It began when Ouyahia invited Secretary General of the General Union of Algerian Workers Abdul Majid Sidhoum Saeid and head of the Forum of Heads of Enterprises (CFE), Ali Haddad, for a tripartite meeting with the government.

The meeting ended with controversial decisions including the privatisation of bankrupt public sector companies, the abandonment of import licenses and the cancellation of the import of 1,000 products in 2018.

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A few days later Secretary General of the National Liberation Front, Gamal Ould Abbas called for a parallel meeting at his party’s headquarters which was viewed as an objection to the government’s meeting with its economic partners.

Former Energy Minister Chakib Khalil, a close friend of President Bouteflika, has recently launched through social media a sharp and unprecedented attack on Ouyahia.

President of the Movement of Society for Peace, Abdul Razzaq Makri, described the differences as “real political decay”.

Algeria is scheduled to hold presidential elections in 2019.