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Algeria's Bouteflika home after Geneva medical check

AFP , Friday 29 Apr 2016
File Photo: President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algiers April 28, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
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Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika returned home to the North African country on Friday from Switzerland after undergoing "routine medical checks", the APS news agency said citing a presidency statement.

No further details were given about the results of the checks in Geneva, where Bouteflika went on Sunday at a time of renewed speculation about his health.

The Algerian leader, 79, suffered a stroke in 2013 that has impeded his mobility and speech. In December, he underwent two days of medical tests at a cardiology unit in the French city of Grenoble.

On the rare occasions that he appears in public, usually to receive foreign dignitaries, he has been in a wheelchair and speaking with difficulty.

Speculation over his successor has been rife in Algerian media and on social media since visiting French Prime Minister Manuel Valls tweeted a picture of a very weak-looking Bouteflika on April 10.

Rumours of worsening health abound, and opposition leaders have spoken of a power vacuum in the country which they say is in effect run by relatives including the president's brother Said.

Bouteflika has led Algeria for the past 17 years. In 2014, his decision to seek a fourth mandate sparked criticism from those who questioned his ability to rule.

He did not campaign and voted from a wheelchair, but still won 81 percent of the vote.

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