Algeria’s Bouteflika to appoint vice president amid ailing health

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is to appoint a vice president to assist him in ruling the country, citing his ailing health as motivation.

A well-informed source said that Bouteflika – who announced his candidacy for a fifth term as president on Sunday – has decided to create a position of a vice president to help him in the presidency and the ruling of the country because he no longer has the physical strength to do so alone.

Eighty-one-year-old Bouteflika has been ruling Algeria since 1999 but has rarely appeared in public since he suffered a stroke in 2013 which left him wheelchair-bound. He is likely to win a fifth term in Algeria’s presidential elections which will be held on 18 April.

Algeria Press Service said that Bouteflika intends to amend the constitution in case he is re-elected. The agency nevertheless didn’t specify the items he would seek to amend.

However, Reuters quoted a well-informed source as saying that Bouteflika will probably propose the creation of the position of vice president to help him rule the country.

READ: Algeria’s ruling FLN picks Bouteflika as presidential candidate, for a 5th term