Algeria’s 82-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will seek a fifth term in April’s elections, state media announced on Sunday.
Bouteflika – who has ruled Algeria since 1999 – will run in April’s elections, when he will face a record number of challengers.
The National Liberation Front, the main party in the ruling coalition, had said last year that he would be its candidate to head the North African nation that is a key exporter of natural gas to Europe. But that did little to halt speculation as to whether he is fit for office because of his poor health.
Bouteflika is viewed as a favourite of the country’s military and security apparatus, following a bloody civil war in the 1990s.
Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia has said Bouteflika’s health was not “an obstacle” to him continue in his post.
In recent years, the opposition has raised questions about Bouteflika’s fitness to stay in power.
Algeria’s main Islamist party, the Movement for the Society of Peace, has said that Bouteflika is too ill to remain as president.