Algeria's Bouteflika leaves France after medical tests

5th December 2015, Comments 0 comments

Algeria's ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika flew home on Saturday after undergoing two days of medical tests in France, sources said.

The 78-year-old underwent tests at a cardiology unit in Grenoble, southeastern France, where he was also hospitalised in November 2014.

Bouteflika's office had said Thursday that the veteran Algerian leader, who has ruled the oil-rich north African state since 1999, would be making "a short, private visit during which he will undergo regular medical tests by his doctors".

He won re-election last year but appeared only once during the campaign, in a wheelchair after suffering a stroke in 2013 that has affected his movement and speech.

Reacting to doubts raised by prominent public figures over the ageing head of state's abilities, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal insisted in November that Bouteflika was in full control.

"The president is supervising the implementation of his programme on a daily basis and step by step," Sellal said on state television.

Bouteflika's public engagements have become rare and he appears on local television only when foreign dignitaries visit.

His opponents, including his rival in the 2014 presidential polls, Ali Benflis, have spoken of a "power vacuum".

After his stroke in 2013, Bouteflika spent 88 days in Paris.


© 2015 AFP

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