Algeria: Police Chief replaced, Ramtane Lamamra returns to duty

Algeria: Police Chief replaced, Ramtane Lamamra returns to duty

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika Wednesday dismissed national police Chief Mustapha Lahbiri and named the former Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, as his diplomatic adviser.

A statement from the interior ministry said the President has appointed Abdelkader Kara Bouhadba, director of the judicial police, in replacement of Lakhdar Lahbiri.

Lakhdar Lahbiri took over in June last year from Abdelghani Hamel who was dismissed by the President amid a scandal that erupted following the seizure of 701 kg of drug in the harbor of the western city of Oran late May last year.

Lahbiri, during his short tenure, proposed several changes at the head of various police departments but the proposals had been frozen by the interior ministry, AFP reports.

The appointment of Lamamra, who held the Foreign Affairs portfolio from 2013 to 2017, has not been announced officially yet but has been reported by local media.

These appointments are made just few weeks ahead of April 18 elections.

Bouteflika last weekend ended the suspense and announced his candidacy for a fifth term in office.

Criticized for his health condition which his opponents believe will prevent him from running the country for another five years.

The new appointments are seen as part of the ailing, 81-year old President’s election campaign. Lamamr is reportedly the prospective campaigner to the Algerian diaspora abroad.

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