Timeline: Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's 20-year rule

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on April 10, 2016.
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on April 10, 2016.   -  Copyright  Eric FEFERBERG / AFP
By Alice Tidey & Reuters

Bouteflika's decision to run for a fifth term in office has sparked widespread protests in the North African country.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, rarely seen in public since suffering a stroke six years ago, ignored widespread protests against his 20-year rule on Sunday and announced his candidacy for a fifth term in office.

But in what appears to be an effort to appease protesters, the 82-year-old leader said that if re-elected he would step down in a year by organising new elections that he would not take part in. 

A veteran of the war for independence against French colonial rule, Bouteflika integrated the first government of the newly-independent Algerian nation in 1962 and has been at the helm of the country since 1999.

He is credited with bringing relative peace to the North African country after about 200,000 Algerians were killed in a violent civil war in the 1990s. Helped by bountiful natural reserves — particularly oil and gas — he also turned Algeria into a more prosperous country.

But his rule has been marred by claims of vote rigging and tensions over poor living standards and lack of job opportunities have been simmering in recent years, triggering a wave of protests.

Take a look at Euronews' timeline to retrace Bouteflika's political career.

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