Algeria president back home after care in France

AP News
Posted: Jul 16, 2013 12:34 PM
Algeria president back home after care in France

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika returned home Tuesday after 80 days of treatment in France following a stroke, a stay that left many government decisions on hold and raised questions about his ability to lead the country.

Algerian television showed a photo of a visibly weak Bouteflika being received at the military airport outside Algiers by the prime minister and the army chief, among other top officials. Sitting in a wheelchair, Bouteflika appeared haggard and much thinner.

Officials announced the 76-year-old suffered a mini-stroke on April 27 and flew for treatment in France. Since then, there has been a brief televised meeting with him, the prime minister and a top military official in Paris.

The government later confirmed Bouteflika had a full stroke. In his absence, dire reports about his health appeared in French media.

Much of the power in the country is vested in the office of the president. Bouteflika had widely been expected to run for a fourth presidential term in elections in April 2014, but now the contest may be wide open.

A statement from the presidency carried by the state press agency said Bouteflika would continue his rest and rehabilitation in Algeria.