Algeria’s new prime minister said on Thursday he would form a temporary government of technocrats and others to work toward political change in response to weeks of street protests, and he urged the opposition to join in a dialogue.
Noureddine Bedoui laid out his plans at a news conference in Algiers three days after ailing President Abelaziz Bouteflika announced his decision not to run for a fifth term that would have extended his 20 years in power.
Bouteflika’s offer came after tens of thousands of Algerians staged demonstrations demanding an overhaul of a stagnant political system dominated by veterans of the 1954-62 war of independence.
He delayed elections set for April and said a national conference would be held to discuss political change.
However, Bouteflika stopped short of stepping down and many activists fear his move may be a ruse.
Prime Minister Bedoui, who replaced Ahmed Ouyahia on Monday, said the new government would be formed early next week.
“This government will have a short period, and its role is to be the support for the national conference and what Algerians agree upon,” he said.
It would be technocratic but also include young Algerians involved in the protest movement, including women, he said.