Algeria: Ailing president Bouteflika to seek 5th term

Algeria’s ailing President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika is set to seek a fifth term in April elections, despite health issues that have kept him largely out of the public eye for years.

The 81-year-old head of state, in power since 1999, declared his widely expected candidacy in a message to the nation.

Mr Bouteflika said he would set up an inclusive national conference to address political, economic and social issues and propose an enrichment of the constitution.

Bouteflika, who uses a wheelchair and has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, had remained quiet about whether he would be a candidate in the lead up to the April 18 poll.

The country’s ruling coalition – which includes the president’s National Liberation Front – lent its backing to Bouteflika earlier this month.

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