Abdelaziz Belkhadem – Prime Minister of Algeria

The current Prime Minister of Algeria took over power from Ahmed Ouyahia in 2006, after Ouyahia’s resignation. A Prime Minister of Algeria is appointed by the President; and as Prime Minister he is the head of the Algerian government.

The term served by a Prime Minister of Algeria is not limited, but to date Mohamed Ben Ahmed Abdelghani has served the longest political term in Algerian history- for 5 years between 1979 and 1984. The political struggle between Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelaziz Belkhadem was a watershed event in Algerian politics and eventually led to the resignation of Ouyahia.

Abdelaziz Belkhadem was born on 8 November 1945 in the town of Aflou, Algeria. After studying economics and literature, Belkhadem began his working career as a financial inspector in 1964. By 2000, Belkhadem had worked his through the political ranks in Algeria and eventually served as Minister of State as well as Foreign Minister of Algeria. Whilst in the position of Algeria’s Foreign Ministers, Belkhadem and Ouyahia became embroiled in political and ideological clashes. For example, Belkhadem fought to increase the term of presidency from two to three years.

But events in Algeria finally came to a head with a proposal to increase salary and wages for workers across the country. Ouyahia was strongly against a general salary increase and his unflinching and unmoved attitude towards the continuous striking doctors, teachers and other professionals increased his unpopularity by the Algerian public. He also refused to let the cries of disapproval waver his thinking, as many were unhappy with the privatization of organizations in the public sector. With more impending strikes and demonstrations on the horizon, Ouyahia resigned from his position.

With his official induction into his new position as Prime Minister of Algeria, Abdelaziz Belkhadem made a statement that promised the increase of salaries for public workers. He also assured the people of Algeria that he would work towards a constitutional reform within the country. One thing is for certain, the media and the public will be watching him closely as they hope that his promises materialize. But Abdelaziz Belkhadem gave a positive and determined induction speech, as he looks favorably forwards the future.