Algeria names finance chief Benabderrahmane as prime minister

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ALGIERS (Reuters) -Algeria's president named Finance Minister Ayman Benabderrahmane as prime minister on Wednesday and asked him to form a new government.

The presidency announced his appointment to replace Abdelaziz Djerad, who resigned last week following a parliamentary election on June 12.

OPEC member Algeria has been under financial pressure because of lower oil and gas revenues, the main source of state finances, causing a widening trade deficit.

The crisis has worsened further after the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the government to delay several planned investment projects in various sectors.

The North African nation of 45 million people has not yet managed to diversify the economy away from oil and gas despite attempts to develop the non-energy sector.

Elected in December 2019, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has said repeatedly he will carry out political and economic reforms after mass protests demanding the departure of the ruling elite forced his predecessor Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign in April 2019.

(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Toby Chopra and Timothy Heritage)

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