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Algeria's Bouteflika back home after Paris check-up

AFP , Thursday 16 Jan 2014
Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika listens to the speech of Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi at the start of the third European Union-Africa summit in Tripoli 29 November, 2010.
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Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who suffered a mini-stroke last year, returned home on Thursday after spending three days at a Paris hospital undergoing medical tests, national media reported.

"Bouteflika returned to Algiers on Thursday, mid-afternoon, after a medical check-up at the Val-de-Grace hospital in Paris," the APS news agency reported.

The tests showed "an overall improvement" in the health of the 76-year-old president, who has until Sunday to convene the organising committee for an April presidential election in which the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) has asked him to stand for a fourth term.

Bouteflika was intially expected to return on Friday, APS reported, after his office unexpectedly announced on Tuesday that he had been flown to Paris for a "routine check-up."

The health of the ageing president, who has ruled Algeria since 1999, has become an intensifying source of speculation since he was rushed to the same military hospital in Paris following his mini-stroke last April.

Despite the health concerns that have dogged the last nine years of his presidency, he has still not ruled out the possibility of running for a fourth term in April, creating uncertainty which has paralysed Algerian politics.

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