Algeria: Bouteflika Will Not Seek 5th Term as Algeria's President

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika casts his ballot in Algeria's 2012 legislative election (file photo).

Algeria's presidency said Monday that longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika will not seek a fifth term as president, despite filing the paperwork to do so last week.

The presidency also announced that elections, initially scheduled for April 18, will be postponed.

Algerian media also reported that Bouteflika has named Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui as the country's new prime minister and charged him with forming a new government.

Bedoui will replace Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, who resigned earlier Monday.

Bouteflika, 82, returned to Algeria Sunday after having spent two weeks in Geneva, receiving what his office called routine medical checks. But many have speculated that the health of the longtime president, who has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, is far more serious.

The president returned to a third consecutive week of protests against his previously announced bid to run for a fifth term.

Bouteflika, who has ruled the North African country since 1999, officially filed paperwork to run for a fifth term roughly a week ago, but had vowed that if he won he would only serve for one year before holding new elections.

France, Algeria's former colonial ruler, welcomed the news of Bouteflika's change of heart.

"Following large demonstrations, that took place peacefully and in a dignified manner across Algeria, France expresses its hope that a new dynamic that responds to the aspirations of the Algerian people can get under way quickly," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: VOA

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.