Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Algeria: President Bouteflika meets his ministers

Since 2nd August, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has held individual meetings with ministers, a regular summer tradition in which officials essentially show off the progress of their projects. As usual, an official summary of the meetings is distributed to the local press. In the context of this year's social upheaval, it has been particularly important that the president demonstrates progress on social development, security and wider reform, and, as a result, the exercise has turned into a public relations drive. Some of the negative aspects of ministries' work, particularly those touched by corruption scandals, have been bypassed.

Bouteflika congratulated public works minister Amar Ghoul on the “great achievements” in his sector. “The progress made in the road, airport and ports infrastructure has contributed to the process of national development,” said Bouteflika. There was no mention of the corruption scandals, costing errors and delays that have hit some major projects in the sector, notably the east-west motorway scandal, which is still making its way through the courts.

Despite the publicity around the ministerial meetings, no images of Bouteflika with his ministers were published, prompting suggestions that he was too frail to be pictured.

For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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