Former Algerian president hints that Bouteflika should not run for fourth term
The former president of Algeria issued Thursday what has been described as a "big hint" that he thinks that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika should not run for another term in office due to the leader's ailing health, according to the Associated Press.
Former leader Liamine Zeroual released a statement describing the presidency as "a heavy and delicate task, both moral and physical" in what has been insinuated as a direct reference to Bouteflika and his growing state of poor health, and further criticized the 2008 decision that removed term limits from the presidential office, which in effect allowed Bouteflika to run for a third term.
Bouteflika suffered from a stroke last year, leaving the 77-year-old leader partially paralyzed and hospitalized in Paris for several months. He has made only rare public appearances since his return to Algiers.
Nevertheless, the president submitted his bid for a fourth term in the upcoming April 17 election.
Bouteflika is expected to win, particularly with support of the country's ruling party. Even security forces have crushed the few anti-Bouteflika campaigns and demonstrations that have surfaced in recent months.
Zeroual, a former general, led Algerian from 1995 to 1998 during the country's civil war against Islamists and remains a respected figure in the North African country.