Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune called for the dissolution of parliament and early legislative elections on Thursday.
In an address to the nation, the Head of State expressed his decision to carry out ministerial reshuffle within 48 hours at most.
“I have decided to dissolve the National People’s Assembly to call for elections that are free of money, whether it comes from corruption or not, and to open the doors to young people.”
Tebboune also announced an amnesty for dozens of jailed activists of the ‘Hirak’ protest movement — which swept former strongman Abdelaziz Bouteflika from power in 2019.
The leader stated that around 30 members will be granted a presidential pardon.
“I decided to grant presidential pardon to about thirty people, for whom a decision had been given and others for whom no verdict had been reached. Between 55 and 60 people will be joining their families from this evening or tomorrow.”
Tebboune, who has previously expressed dissatisfaction with the cabinet of Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad, made the announcements as the North African nation’s government faces multiple challenges — political and economic crises compounded by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
Algeria has recorded over 110,000 cases including over 2,900 deaths from Covid-19 since the pandemic began.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune returned home Friday after a one-month stay in Germany for surgery following post-Covid-19 complications in his foot, state television said.
“The President of the Republic, Supreme Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defence, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, returned today,” the state broadcaster said, but did not broadcast images of his arrival.
Tebboune, 75, had been hospitalised in Germany last year after contracting Covid-19, and stayed there for two months before returning to Algeria.
He returned to Germany on January 10, and underwent a “successful” operation on his foot 10 days later, according to the presidency.
Algeria has recorded over 110,000 cases including over 2,900 deaths from Covid-19 since the pandemic began.
On the eve of his return, Tebboune had called German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to thank him for the medical care he had received.
Among the key issues that await him include the development of the new electoral law ahead of anticipated local and legislative elections slated to be held by the end of the year.
A government reshuffle is also expected.
Tebboune won office in December 2019, eight months after the popular Hirak protest movement swept out his ailing predecessor Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Tebboune’s initial convalescence in Germany had reminded many Algerians of octogenarian Bouteflika’s frequent hospitalisations abroad.
Tebboune’s return comes amid tension in the North African nation ahead of the second anniversary of the launch of the Hirak protests on February 22.
Hirak protesters continued after Bouteflika’s fall, demanding a full overhaul of the ruling system in place since the Algeria’s 1962 independence from France.
However, social distancing rules to stem the coronavirus pandemic meant that protesters had to halt their street rallies early last year.
One thing that stands out off the bat is Benrahma’s direct influence in front of goal. Last season alone, he netted 17 goals in the Championship and contributed nine assists, helping Brentford reach the play-off final.
If you’re a West Ham supporter, you’re probably sick to the back teeth of the club’s transfer business during the ‘summer’ window.
Just one new arrival has wandered through the London Stadium doors, in the shape of right-back Vladimir Coufal. Costing just £5m, he hardly represents big business – though judging by his debut performance at Leicester pre-international break, the Czech may turn out to be a shrewd signing.
Other than that, West Ham’s supporters have had to settle for Tomas Soucek’s loan being made into a permanent move, with a number of other supposed targets falling by the wayside.
There’s also been the intense furore around the club’s decision to allow Grady Diangana, a promising young winger who had graduated from the academy, to join West Brom permanently. Sure, he netted the bank balance a cool £18m, but his departure represented everything that’s bad about West Ham’s way of doing things these days.
Furthermore, once record-signing Felipe Anderson has been lopped off the wage bill and sent packing to FC Porto on loan – a move instigated and pushed through by the club and not the player, if we’re to believe what we read.
There is, however, a small ray of light attempting to beam through the transfer darkness. That light goes by the name of Said Benrahma, a highly-rated Algerian playmaker who has made waves in the Championship with Brentford for the past couple of years.
A deal potentially costing upwards of £30m – yes, £30m – is agreed, offering some respite for a fanbase who have had very little to shout about in recent times, despite two glorious results before the pause for needless international football.
The question on every supporter’s lips now will revolve around value for money, and whether or not a player unproven at the highest level is worth forking out such a large sum for – particularly when Diangana was already on the books and raising cash to strengthen the defence was the primary reason for his departure.
With the help of WhoScored, we’ve done a little bit of digging into Benrahma’s game – comparing his statistics from the past season to Diangana and Anderson, in order to paint a more complete overview of what this deal means for West Ham.
The 25-year-old was one-third of the Bees’ ‘BMW’ attacking triumvirate – alongside Bryan Mbuemo and Ollie Watkins – and between the three of them, they accounted for 78% of the 83 league goals scored by Thomas Frank’s side. Benrahma also played in 43 of 46 Championship games last season, as well as appearing in both play-off semi-final legs and the final.
In comparison, Diangana only started in half of West Brom’s Championship fixtures, totalling 30 appearances overall. He played almost 2,000 less minutes than Benrahma, but still managed to tot up eight goals and six assists as the Baggies secured automatic promotion – an indicator that without injuries, he could have made a more substantial contribution.
Anderson, meanwhile, endured a player’s version of second-season syndrome, as his promising debut campaign in east London was quickly swept aside in favour of a campaign of anonymity.
The Brazilian scored just one Premier League goal and was responsible for just four assists – playing half of the amount of minutes he did during the 2018/19 campaign.
He only featured in 25 Premier League games in all – 80% of those coming from the start – and his minutes dwindled significantly towards the end of the season as David Moyes opted to utilise Pablo Fornals on his favoured left-hand side.
Benrahma’s other standout categories revolve around his directness in attack. He’s been playing at a slightly lower level, granted, but his average of 5.9 dribbles per 90 minutes played far exceeds what Diangana – playing in the same division – and Anderson were producing.
He also rained down 175 shots on goal over the course of the campaign, and although that only correlates to a 9.7% conversation rate, it demonstrates Benrahma’s appetite for scoring goals. In any event, netting 17 isn’t half bad when you consider it’s almost double Diangana and Anderson’s combined figure and his efforts on target stood at a respectable 36.5%.
In terms of passing, you’re splitting hairs between pass completion rate among the three, though Benrahma does rank highest in terms of number passes completed per 90 minutes. That’s an indicator that Brentford have been – and are – keen to get him on the ball as much as possible, given that he also excels in the other aforementioned categories.
But what stands out above anything, perhaps, is Benrahma’s fitness. When he moved to the capital aged 23, he’d never played more than 31 league games in a season – and even that was double the amount of his next best. At Brentford, he’s featured in 94 games in all competitions – at the time of writing – and that consistency has helped evolve his game ten-fold.
He’s now West Ham’s primary target and is almost certainly an upgrade on Diangana, no matter the circumstances of his departure from the club. He’s likely a better fit than Anderson, too, and the statistics highlight the graft Benrahma is willing to put in week in, week out – something that the former Lazio man didn’t necessarily display each and every time he took to the field.
Personal terms now just need to be thrashed out for Benrahma, and West Ham fans should be excited – because he does appear to have that little bit of ‘wow factor’, and could easily follow in the footsteps of Watkins, who is already shining brightly at Aston Villa after a big-money move.
Coach Gernot Rohr is using the friendlies to put his team in good shape for the forthcoming AFCON and World Cup qualifiers and to also see what the new boys will bring to his team.
Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr will be watching out for the players among the new recruits who can make the national team stronger when Nigeria meets Algeria in an international friendly in Austria today. The German will file out a team complete with a new trio of goalkeepers and up to five players looking to play their way into the heart of the national team selectors.
The Eagles will play without striker Victor Osimhen, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi, Joe Aribo, and regular goalkeepers Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, and Daniel Akpeyi. Vying to impress in their positions are goalkeepers Maduka Okoye, Dele Alampasu, and Mathew Yakubu. Also on the verge of making their Super Eagles debut are Cyril Dessers, Chidera Ejuke, Zaidu Sanusi, Frank Onyeka, Samson Tijani, and former Germany U-20 captain, Kevin Akpoguma.
The Super Eagles last training session indicated that Everton midfielder, Alex Iwobi could be supported in the midfield by new kid, Frank Onyeka, and returnee, Mikel Agu.
Apart from the new boys, Kelechi Iheanacho and Tyrone Ebuehi are back in the team hoping to do enough in this game and Tuesday’s match against Tunisia to earn a permanent position in the squad.
Iheanacho was left out of the team to the 2019 African Cup of Nations because of poor form while Ebuehi is coming back from more than one-year injury-induced absence.
Algeria, who have a second game against Mexico in The Netherlands on Tuesday, come into today’s game not only as of the champions of Africa but also on the back of an 18-match unbeaten run.
They have not lost on the pitch since they were bumped by the odd goal in an AFCON 2019 qualifier away in the Benin Republic in October 2018.
Two years earlier, they were beaten 3-1 by the Super Eagles in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Uyo. Both teams ended the return leg in Constantine 1-1, though the Eagles had already picked the only World Cup ticket from the group ahead of that final encounter.
Djamel Belmadi, the former Algerian international who coached his country to a second continental title in Egypt last year, has included standout names Riyad Mahrez, Yassine Brahimi, Sofiane Feghouli, and Baghdad Bounedjah in his 24-man squad to confront the three-time African champions.
The game, like Tuesday’s, will kick off at 8.30pmAustria time (7.30pmNigeria time).
The match, earlier scheduled to hold at the Jacques Lemmans Arena in the Austrian state of Carinthia, which contains only 2,420 spectators, has now been moved to Worthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, with 30,000 seating capacity.
No reason was given for the change in the match venue.
The Super Eagles trained only ones yesterday ahead of the clash against scheduled to kick-off by 7:30 p.m. Nigerian time.
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles have dismissed reports in some quarters that some of the players in the team’s Austria camp have tested positive for COVID-19 as reported by a section of the media yesterday. The report said four players tested positive for the deadly COVID-19 and had to undergo another round of testing.
Super Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye, expressed dismay over such reports, noting that results of the tests carried out on the players were being awaited yesterday.
He wondered how the players could test positive for the virus without the result of their tests.
“Please discountenance reports that some of our players tested positive to COVID-19 ahead of tomorrow’s friendly game against Algeria. It is a blatant falsehood.”
“The writer of the story, who was not part of the press conference earlier today, totally misrepresented what Coach Rohr said.
“Rohr said that since the outbreak of the pandemic, four of our players had tested positive, but we’re all now fully recovered from the virus and back in action.
“The results of the COVID-19 tests carried out on the Super Eagles ahead of tomorrow’s game are still being awaited,” Ibitoye said.
Protesters demanded radical changes to the entire state system they revile as undemocratic and corrupt.
Algeria launched its campaign Wednesday for constitutional reforms for a “New Republic” that the government hopes will satisfy a popular protest movement — to the apparent indifference of many.
The constitutional changes, a flagship initiative of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, are set to be put to a referendum on November 1, the anniversary of the start of Algeria’s 1954-1962 war of independence from France.
“November 1954: liberation, November 2020: change,” the official campaign slogan reads.
But many ordinary Algerians — struggling during a deep economic crisis that has seen unemployment soar — appear sceptical it will make any meaningful difference.
“What change are we talking about? Nothing has changed with these people in power,” said Ali, a former trade union official.
Popular anti-government demonstrations led by the Hirak — meaning in Arabic, “the movement” — pushed ailing president Abdelaziz Bouteflika from power last year.
In a bid to shore up his mandate, Bouteflika’s successor Tebboune pledged to revise the constitution and allow people to approve or reject proposals in a referendum.
But some see the referendum as a cynical way for the government to appear to bring change while maintaining its power. “They want to steal the hopes born from Hirak,” Ali added.
While the referendum was mentioned on radio and television stations, there were no campaign posters seen on the streets of Algiers.
“Why vote for a project to which I do not have access?” said elderly Algerian Brahim Bahmed, complaining that the “promised broad debate did not take place”.
“It’s hard to imagine popular enthusiasm during the campaign,” said political scientist Mansour Kedidir, noting that ordinary citizens “care more about the precariousness of life than the rhetoric of reform.”
Opposition parties are themselves divided, with some calling for people to vote against the changes, and others to boycott the referendum entirely.
“Abstention risks being… the main winner and a crisis of legitimacy its logical consequence,” said Louisa Dris-Ait-Hamadouche, a lecturer from the University of Algiers.
For the second week in a row, hundreds of people took the streets in Algiers in protest demanding the release of Khaled Drareni.
The journalist was sentenced to three years in prison and has since become a symbol of the fight for press freedom.
Imprisoned near Algiers since 29 March, Drareni is due to be retried on appeal on 8 September.
An international campaign of support and demonstrations in favour of his release were recently organised in Paris, New York and Geneva.
A petition launched in Algeria has gathered some 2,000 signatures from journalists and civil society personalities and Khaled Drareni has received the support of many Algerian artists, such as singer Amel Zen.
In recent months, authorities have accused journalists of threatening the “national interest” and many have been to prison for it.
Reporters Without Borders recently denounced the deteriorating context for press freedom in Algeria
It ranked the country 146th (out of 180) in its 2020 World Press Freedom Index, down 27 places from 2015.
Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Wednesday sacked Employment Minister Ahmed Chawki Fouad Acheuk Youcef, his office offering no reason for the move.
Tebboune “today signed a decree ending Mr Ahmed Chawki Fouad Acheuk Youcef’s tenure as works, labour, employment and social security minister,” the presidency said in a statement published by the official APS agency.
It also named an interim replacement, Kaoutar Krikou who is already the national solidarity minister.
M. Acheuk Youcef, 64 ans, was named to the post in January as part of Tebboune’s first goverment since his December 2019 election.
He was reappointed during a government reshuffle in June that saw the energy and finance ministers replaced — two of the key sectors in Algeria’s economy.
The North African country is very vulnerable to falls in oil prices. Confronted also by a political crisis and a rise in COVID-19 cases, fears are growing of a financial crash and social unrest.
Mass protests swept Algeria early last year in response to ailing president Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s announcement that he would seek a fifth term in office.
They swiftly morphed into demands for a sweeping overhaul of the political system, carrying on well beyond Bouteflika’s April 2019 resignation.
Last month Bouteflika was sentenced to 16 years in prison on corruption charges.
The protests were only suspended in mid-March as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the country.
Acheuk Youcef is the second minister to leave the government since the June reshuffle.
Samir Chaabna, minister for the Algerian diaspora was fired barely four days after his appointment due to his double French-Algerian nationality.
The skulls of 24 combatants laid to rest after being repatriated from France where they were kept in a Parisian museum.
Algeria buried the remains of 24 resistance fighters returned from Paris after more than a century and a half as it marked the 58th anniversary of its independence from France.
The skulls of the fighters – shot and decapitated in the early years of the French occupation – were laid to rest on Sunday during an emotional ceremony at El Alia cemetery.
Coffins draped with the national flag were lowered into freshly dug graves in the Martyr’s Square of Algeria’s largest burial ground, alongside national heroes such as top revolt leader Emir Abdelkader.
An elite unit of the Republican Guard presented arms while a funeral march played in the background, an AFP news agency correspondent reported.
The skulls, once viewed as war trophies by French colonial officers, were flown into Algiers international airport on Friday and then moved to the Palace of Culture where they were placed on display.
The return of the skulls was the result of years of efforts by Algerian historians, and comes amid a growing global reckoning with the legacy of colonialism.
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who took part in the ceremony, on Saturday said it was time to turn a page on years of frosty relations with France, calling on Paris to apologise for its colonial past.
“We have already had half-apologies. The next step is needed … we await it,” he told news channel France 24 in an interview.
Algeria receives remains of fighters from FranceThe return of the skulls was the result of years of efforts by Algerian historians [Anadolu] An apology was necessary to “face the problem of memory that jeopardises many things in the relations between the two countries”, Tebboune said.
It would “make it possible to cool tensions and create a calmer atmosphere for economic and cultural relations”, especially for the more than six million Algerians who live in France, he added.
Long process Despite stifling heat, a long queue formed outside the palace and some men and women, waiting to pay their respects, wept, according to footage broadcast by several television stations.
“I came as a fighter, as an invalid from the war of liberation, as a citizen who loves his country,” said Ali Zemlat.
The 85-year-old fought in the brutal 1954-1962 war that ended France’s 132 years of colonial rule in Algeria.
The 24 fought French colonial forces who occupied Algeria in 1830 and took part in an 1849 revolt. After they were decapitated, their skulls were taken to France as trophies.
In 2011, Algerian historian and researcher Ali Farid Belkadi discovered the skulls at the Museum of Man in Paris, across from the Eiffel Tower, and alerted Algerian authorities.
The researcher lobbied for years for their return and Algeria’s then-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, eventually launched the formal repatriation request.
French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to the repatriation in 2018 but bureaucratic obstacles resulted in the delay of their return.
“We have recovered part of our memory,” historian Mohamed el-Korso told The Associated Press news agency. “But the fight must continue until the recovery of all the remains of the resistance fighters, which number in the hundreds, and the archives of our revolution.”
Riyad Mahrez was honest in his assessment of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations semifinal tie between Algeria and Nigeria in which the North Africans earned a narrow 2-1 win thanks to a sublime free-kick curled in by the Manchester City star from just outside the box in the last minute of stoppage time.
With extra time looming, the tricky Algeria winger believed that the Super Eagles would have won the game because they were the fitter of the two sides.
Speaking to ESPN journalist Colin Udoh via Instagram, Ndidi stated : “I don’t want to think about it.
Riyad was honest, he said they were tired and if we had gone into extra time the game would have gone in our favour because we are strong.
“Riyad is one player I respect, he’s not strong, you can hardly get the ball from Riyad, he is very tricky.
” Ndidi was acquired by Leicester City from Racing Genk in January 2017 as a replacement for N’Gole Kante who joined Chelsea few months earlier and the Nigerian has claimed that he has not spoken to the French World Cup winner since his arrival at the King Power Stadium.
“I don’t know him (Kante).
When I came he was not here so it’s not something for me to do.
If you talk about Riyad, yes.
” With the exception of the 2-0 to defeat to Madagascar in the group stage, Ndidi went the distance in all the matches played by the Super Eagles at the Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt last summer.
There is a new case of Coronavirus in Africa following the Algerian Health Ministry announcement of a confirmed case of the deadly disease in the country.
Algeria’s Minister of Health, Shamsuddin Shitor revealed that they were able to detect the flu-like virus due to the vigilance system adopted at all land, air and maritime entry points to the country.
He disclosed that an Italian man who arrived the North African country on February 17 has been placed in isolation, as he urged Algerians to be careful of the information they share online.
“One case was confirmed positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), out of two suspected cases (both) of Italian nationality. “
This is coming few days after a man who was placed in isolation at an Egyptian hospital over fears of the deadly disease,tested negative after medical tests were carried out.
Northern Italy which is also home to many Algerians, has recorded spiked coronavirus cases and 11 deaths so far. The virus which broke out in Chinese City of Wuhan has now infected more than 80,000 globally, killing at least 2,700.
Algeria’s new president on Saturday named as his prime minister an academic turned political insider who vowed to work to win back people’s trust after months of street protests.
Abdelmadjid Tebboune, elected this month to succeed ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, asked Abdelaziz Djerad to form a government, the presidency announced in a statement carried by state television.
The 65-year-old premier, who has a Ph.D in political science, struck a conciliatory tone after meeting Tebboune, whose election victory was rejected by protesters as a ploy to keep establishment insiders in power.
Djerad pledged to work with all Algerians to surmount the economic and social challenges confronting the north African country.
“We face a major challenge to win back the trust” of the people, he added.
But the initial response on the street to Djerad’s appointment suggested he has his work cut out.
“This change of prime minister is illegitimate since the one who appointed him is illegitimate,” said pharmacy student Maassoum.
The people “asked for a new soup. They just changed the spoon,” said one of his friends, Amine.
Although from an academic background, Djerad already has experience of the inner workings of the Algerian state, having held posts including general secretary of the presidency from 1993-1995 and the same role at the foreign ministry from 2001-2003.
He replaces Sabri Boukadoum, the foreign minister who was appointed interim prime minister after Tebboune’s election win.
Algeria’s 10-month-old protest movement has rejected Tebboune as part of the same corrupt system that has ruled since independence in 1962.
Demonstrators have stayed on the streets since Bouteflika resigned in April after two decades in office.
On Friday tens of thousands of Algerians rallied again insisting on a total revamp of the political establishment.
But the demonstration seemed one of the smallest since the start of the unprecedented, peaceful uprising, with some protesters saying school and university holidays had kept people away.
The crowd was outnumbered by the throngs of people who had turned out for the funeral on Wednesday of powerful army chief Ahmed Gaid Salah, who had become the de facto strongman in the country after Bouteflika quit.
The December 12 election was boycotted by a large part of the electorate.
Tebboune won with 58.1 percent of the vote on a turnout of less than 40 percent, according to official results, and was sworn in on December 19, days before Gaid Salah died of a heart attack at age 79.
Algerian strongman military chief Ahmed Gaid Salah, known for telling veteran leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign, has died at the age of 79.
Gen Salah, one of the last veterans of the 1954-62 independence war against France still in power, died of a heart attack. Bouteflika, who ruled since 1999, resigned in April after mass protests, leaving Gen Salah as de facto leader.
The opposition has been calling for the whole of the old regime to quit power. Gen Salah has been replaced as acting army head by Gen Said Chengriha and three days of mourning have been announced.
Late Salah played a major role in organising presidential elections on 11 December, which were boycotted by the opposition, saying they were necessary to avoid the country descending into chaos.
The election, fought between five candidates closely associated with Mr Bouteflika, was won by former civil servant Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who was dubbed as the “chosen one” on social media because he was seen as being close to the army chief.
Algeria is inaugurating its new president, Abdelkader Tebboune, on Thursday, after eight months without a leader.
The governing elite hopes Tebboune’s inauguration allows their gas-rich country to turn the page on 10 months of protests that have thrown their legitimacy into doubt and stalled the economy.
Tebboune, a 74-year-old former prime minister considered close to Algeria’s powerful army chief, was elected with 58 per cent of the vote in an election boycotted by members of the country’s peaceful protest movement.
Algeria’s Constitutional Council on Monday, Dec. 16 confirmed Abdelkader Tebboune as the new president of Africa’s largest country for the next five years — despite mass protests challenging his election last week.
The council announced on state television that the other four candidates didn’t contest the 58 per cent of the votes won by Tebboune.
The constitutional body said the vote was carried out in a “good climate” — and didn’t mention the protests that had filled the streets of Algiers and other cities every Friday since February.
The new president has promised to reach out to the protesters and to fight corruption – a major problem in Africa’s biggest country.
Tebboune inherits a large youth population disillusioned with unemployment and out-of-touch rulers as well as a myriad of economic challenges.
Abdelmadjid Tebboune has been elected the new president of Algeria, the Head of the National Independent Election Authority, Mohamed Chorfi, announced on Friday, December 13th.
Chorfi announced this at a news conference in Algiers saying, Tebboune won a majority 58.15 per cent of vote in the presidential election held on Thursday to become the 8th president of the North African nation since gaining independence from France in 1962.
The figures show that Abdelkader Bengrina came second as he collected 17.38 per cent of votes, followed by Ali Benflis with 10.55 per cent, and Azzeddine Mihoubi with 7.26 per cent and Abdelaziz Belaid came fifth with 6.66 per cent.
Chorfi added that the turnout of the polls hit 41.13 per cent nationwide, while the overall turnout with voters abroad hit 39.83 per cent.