Ailing Algerian leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika to run for president again

Ailing Algerian leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika to run for president again
Abdelaziz Bouteflika is seeking a fifth term as Algeria's president, despite rumours of ill-health.
2 min read
10 February, 2019
The veteran Algerian leader will run for president again [Getty]

Algeria's ageing long-time leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika has announced he will run for president for a fifth term, despite repeated rumours of ill-health.

Bouteflika - who has ruled Algeria since 1999 - will run in April's elections, when he will face a record number of challengers.

The 81-year-old veteran leader said he would establish an "inclusive national conference" to address "political, economic and social" issues and "propose an enrichment of the constitution", according to Algeria's national news agency.

Wheelchair bound Bouteflika is rarely seen in public, since he had a stroke in 2013. 

Despite his reported ill health, Algeria's ruling National Liberation Front backed him this month as coalition's presidential candidate, in an election that will see him face a record number of challengers. 

Bouteflika is viewed as a favourite of the country's military and security apparatus, following a bloody civil war in the 1990s.

Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia has said Bouteflika's health was not "an obstacle" to him continue in his post. 

Algeria's main Islamist party, the Movement for the Society of Peace, has said that Bouteflika is too ill to remain as president.

Among Bouteflika's top challengers are former Prime Minister Ali Benflis, the runner-up in 2014 and today's main opposition candidate; influential retired Gen. Ali Ghediri; and the leader of the Islamist party, Abderazak Makri.

Algeria remains shaked by economic instability due to low oil prices.