Algerian President Bouteflika hospitalised in France: sources

14th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 77, has been admitted to hospital in the southeastern French town of Grenoble, a French government source told AFP on Friday.

The clinic did not offer a reason for his hospitalisation nor give an update on his condition but Bouteflika has been in poor health since 2013 when he was treated for a "mini-stroke" in Paris.

The Algerian presidency did not confirm the report but said it would release a statement later on Friday.

Bouteflika is a war veteran who became Algeria's youngest minister at the age of 25 and has ruled the country since 1999.

He spent 80 days being treated for the mini-stroke in 2013.

He returned to Algiers looking frail in a wheelchair in July of that year and was not seen in public for months.

He returned to Paris for more minor treatments in January.

That did not stop him standing for election for a fourth time in April 2014, winning with more than 80 percent of the vote.

The opposition refused to recognise the result.

He has been seen only on rare occasions since.

In a break from tradition, he failed to appear in public for Eid al-Adha prayers marking the end of the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca last month.

One of the few remaining veterans of the war of independence against France, Bouteflika came to power after helping to end the country's devastating civil war in the 1990s.

Amendments to the constitution in 2008 cleared the way for him to run indefinitely.

He has since taken steps to prevent future presidents from holding the presidency for more than two terms.

In addition to health concerns, his rule has been dogged in recent years by corruption scandals implicating members of his inner circle.


© 2014 AFP

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