No sooner had the Algerian President, Abdel Majid Tebboune, completed his first year in the El Mouradia Palace, until he had to announce a third government formation that affected again vital sectors related to the daily services of the citizen, and other strategic economic portfolios.
In his last speech last Thursday, Tebboune stated that he was “aware of the citizen’s rightly criticized regarding the lack of performance of the local authority or some government sectors,” adding, “I heard the call and decided to make a government reshuffle within the next 48 hours.”
The president fulfilled his promise, even if he came a whole day late, to decide to deport 7 ministers, within the government of Abdul Aziz Jarad, which included housing, urbanization, the city, public works and transportation departments, water resources, industry, energy and mines, tourism, digitization and statistics, the Ministry of Environment, and ministerial departments Other.
With this, the number of ministerial departments decreased from 39 portfolios in the first government, which Tebboune appointed on January 2, 2020, to 34 portfolios currently, with “focusing on efficiency in the field by introducing new competencies,” according to a statement by the presidency.
Prime Minister (Prime Minister) Jarad maintained his position despite the leaks that promoted the possibility of persuading one of the opposition figures to assume the position, in addition to the continuation of all the officials of the sovereign portfolios, such as the Interior and Foreign Affairs, Justice, Finance, Education, Higher Education and others, while Tebboune was the representative of the Minister of Defense.
What is striking politically, in the third team of the Jerad crew, is the use of the services of two ministers from the staff of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
The latter is counted on the Islamic trend, accompanied by the Minister of Labor Hashemi Jaaboub, for the government to be represented by two symbols of this trend, even though its parties are not interested in officially participating in the executive body.
But in general, it maintained its independent technocratic character without clear party representation, except for the Minister for Relations with Parliament, whose existence is considered an individual by the party.
The mandate of the new government comes in a complex economic context, as the Finance Law expects the public treasury deficit to rise to 17.6% of the country’s crude GDP during 2021, equivalent to $ 22 billion, in addition to a decline in foreign exchange reserves to less than $ 47 billion this year.
According to the Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Security, job offers in the Algerian market have declined by 30%, due to the repercussions of the Corona virus.
The national oil company “Sonatrach” also incurred losses estimated at 10 billion dollars until the end of September 2020 due to the effects of the pandemic, recording a 41% decrease from its export turnover.
According to observers, the declared government will face the stakes in moving the street, in light of the decline in the state of fear of Corona, and the gradual expansion of the demand protests due to the growing difficulties of living conditions, according to observers.
In his reading of the backgrounds and the context of government change, Farouk Tayfour, Director of the Cultural Perspective Center (non-governmental) believes that the amendment is part of a series of measures imposed by constraints related to limited achievement in the post-popular movement, and who aspires to radical and urgent change under the slogan “Bottom Steps Down” at a time when The government can project a different picture of past performance.
Speaking to Al-Jazeera Net, Tayfour said that the renewal of the ministerial team is also linked to the pressures of the Corona epidemic, and the president’s disease, who personally acknowledged the modest performance of the group.
Tayfour also included the presidential move as part of dealing with the second anniversary of the movement, and the fear of exploiting the limited achievement to strain the public atmosphere, and using it to reignite the street.
He considers that the government reshuffle is among the measures of calm that the political class demanded in its recent consultations with Tebboune, such as the presidential pardon for Hirak prisoners or the dissolution of Parliament, and others.
Tayfour asserts that the government reshuffle was neither profound nor remarkable, by bringing in dignified figures who can feed public opinion with the credibility of the change speech that the current authority is promoting.
He revealed that his reliable information indicates that the president did not consult with the parties about participating in the government, but only informed them to proceed with the amendment. In his opinion, he is preparing, in his opinion, for the next and very close post-election government, within 90 days.
For his part, Idris Boulakibat, a professor of media and communication at the University of Constantine, confirmed that the partial amendment to the government came as a surprise to the public opinion, “because it is less than what was expected, especially after President Tebboune hinted, before going to treatment in Germany, his intention to remove the negligent ministers.”
According to Boulakibat, fairness requires recognition that this government was the least fortunate, as it operated in an inappropriate political, social and economic climate.
In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, he considered that the government’s mission was almost limited to the ability to adapt to the Corona pandemic, and the frustration due to the slow pace of the promised reform process forced the government to reduce its activity to a minimum.
He described the new formation as practically just a caretaker government, and there are no priorities on its agenda, but it remains in dire need to accomplish tangible things to calm the street, which has lost confidence in the speech saturated with promises that are rarely fulfilled, as he put it.
In the context, observers believe that the third Gerad government will accompany the upcoming parliamentary elections within a few months, after the decree of the legislative institution is decided by a presidential decree.
The legislative workshops to draft new laws, in line with the amended constitution, will be among their urgent files, to embody the president’s pledges to liberate public space and promote democratic life.