Leader reshuffles Algeria's govt; new energy, finance chiefs

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ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria's president has announced a government reshuffle, replacing the key ministers of finance, interior and energy.

Thursday's changes bring in mostly technocrats, further reducing the number of prominent figures from political parties. A number of ministers were removed amid corruption allegations.

Major economic change could be coming, with the new finance minister, Abderrahmane Benkhelfa, a banking analyst long critical of the overvalued currency and the parallel exchange market.

Former Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi, unable to quell the angry backlash over plans to exploit shale gas, was replaced by Salah Khebri, an energy sector technocrat. Minister of Interior Tayeb Belaiz, known to be ill, was replaced by the little-known Nouredine Bedoui.

Run by an ailing president, Algeria's stability has been threatened by falling oil prices.

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