07/16/2021 Algeria (International Christian Concern) – Following June parliamentary elections, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced his new government changes in appointed personnel. Tebboune’s revised government brought little change to top positions, despite his promises earlier this year to bring about a major shift. Algerians sensed the insincerity, making a statement with a 77% abstention rate.
Changes included a new foreign minister, justice minister, and prime minister, as well as other smaller adjustments to the cabinet. The National Liberation Front, the current ruling party, also won in the parliament, though with fewer seats than before.
Tebboune, seemingly unfazed by the low voter turnout, commented that it was “not important”. The abstention was at least in part fueled by a boycott call from the Hirak protest movement, which continues to demand governmental change.
The “revised” government put forward by Tebboune underscores the key issue that International Christian Concern (ICC) highlights in its recent Algeria Report. Christians and churches faced several rounds of restrictions and persecution under Bouteflika’s government. If Christians are to be granted religious freedom, Tebboune’s government will need to begin addresses constitutional restrictions and reverse its current attitude toward the religious minority.
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