Even before the death on 23 December of deputy defence minister and chief of staff Ahmed Gaïd Salah, major political issues remained to be resolved before Algeria could reasonably look forward to a stable future. The Hirak protest movement, which has been active since last February – removing enfeebled president Abdelaziz Bouteflika in April – continues to call for root-and-branch political change during weekly mass demonstrations. Abdelmadjid Tebboune was elected president on 12 December; he has appointed a new government under a little-known prime minister, Abdelaziz Djerad, which includes many familiar faces, including energy minister Mohamed Arkab.