Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke last year, has returned home in “fine” health after being admitted to a Paris hospital earlier this week for a routine check-up, a source close to the presidency said on Thursday.
Bouteflika arrived at Paris’ Val-de-Grace hospital on Monday, according to the Algerian state news agency APS, which said that the visit had been scheduled since June.
A veteran of Algeria’s independence war against France, Bouteflika suffered a stroke in early 2013, forcing him to be rushed to hospital in France. He returned to Algeria in July to convalesce and has made only a few public appearances since, fuelling speculation about his deteriorating health.
Algeria is scheduled to hold presidential elections in April. Bouteflika has yet to announce whether he will run again after more than 10 years at the helm of the country, which is a major oil producer.
Algeria’s ruling FLN party has so far put Bouteflika forward as its only candidate, but his health has prompted analysts to surmise that he may be forced to hand power to a successor.
The possibility of a political transition in Algeria comes, however, at a sensitive time in North Africa, where Egypt, Tunisia and Libya are still struggling with their respective transitions to democracy after popular uprisings ousted their veteran leaders in 2011.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-01-16