Monday, 3 September 2012

Algeria: Amar Ghoul hints at (re-)joining government

A long article in the Pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper on 27 August supported the rumours that have been circulating for the last few weeks that Amar Ghoul is making a play to get back into government, either as a minister or possibly even Prime Minister.
He was a member of the Movement of Society for Peace (MSP) and the Minister of Public Works in the previous government. However, with the MSP no longer part of the Presidential Alliance, and with Ghoul now defecting from the MSP to form his own TAJ Party, his political future is the focus of much speculation.
In a seminar prior to the TAJ's constituent assembly, Ghoul gave repeated and strong backing for President Bouteflika, indicating his willingness to join the presidential alliance from which the MSP had withdrawn. He was clearly hinting that he was willing to take his new TAJ party back into such an alliance, which currently includes the National Liberation Front (FLN) and the National Rally for Democracy (RND).
Ghoul has a potentially significant political following, especially in the Algiers region, which includes a number of resigned MSP figures and some of the deputies from the parties that made up the May election's Green Algerian Alliance, including the MSP, the Islamic Renaissance Movement (Ennahda) and the Movement for National Reform (Islah). There is also speculation that  Ghoul may be attracting a following, albeit perhaps small, from certain Algerian student movements.
The latest rumour is that Ghoul may return to government, possibly reinstated as Minister of Public Works, in a ministry which could be expanded to include both transport and water. His name is also being touted as the possible new Prime Minister (to replace Ahmed Ouyahia), but this would seem to be a long shot.
For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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