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Algeria's Bouteflika makes rare public appearance


Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika made a rare public appearance Thursday to inaugurate a conference centre.

Bouteflika who was last seen in public two years ago toured the site in a wheelchair.

Since suffering a stroke three years ago he has dramatically reduced his public activity, leading the opposition to question his ability to rule Africa’s country.

The rare appearances continue to fuel speculation about the 79-year-old president’s health.

Presidential polls are not due until 2019, but Bouteflika’s opponents have called for early elections because of his physical frailty.

Bouteflika is usually only seen in brief state television videos greeting visiting dignitaries at his presidential residence.

Talk of a transition comes at a time when Algeria is trying to cut spending and subsidies to offset a sharp drop in revenue from oil sales.


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