15:01 GMT +312 December 2019
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Algeria’s sitting Abdelaziz Bouteflika will be the ruling party’s candidate at next year’s presidential election, the National Liberation Front (FLN) secretary general announced Sunday.

    "Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been nominated as FLN candidate at the upcoming presidential elections in 2019," Djamel Ould Abbes said, according to the APS news agency.

    Woman wearing a niqab (file)
    The 81-year-old has been president since 1991. He suffered a stroke in 2013 and spent several weeks at a French hospital and has since been only seen in a wheelchair.

    During almost three decades in office, Bouteflika oversaw a peace process between authorities and Islamist militants which restored security and attracted foreign investment to the North African country.

    Last year, Bouteflika approved the new cabinet led by Ahmed Ouyahia with four changes in comparison to the previous government. The majority of the ministers have kept their posts in the new cabinet led by Ouyahia, including Energy Minister Mustapha Guitouni and Finance Minister Abderrahamane Rouia. As for the changes, former Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi will head the Ministry of Industry in the new cabinet, Mohamed Benmeradi will serve in the position of trade minister, and Abdelwahid Temmar will be the housing minister.

    READ MORE: How 1960's French Nuclear Tests Are Still Claiming Lives in Algeria (PHOTOS)

    In the recent years, the country reportedly enjoyed a period of relative stability due to Bouteflika’s national reconciliation policy.

    However, terrorist groups reportedly remain active in Algeria, though their activity has been significantly reduced due to an Algerian military campaign to clear the region of militants. According an Algerian Defense Ministry's release published in 2016, Algerian forces killed 157 armed Islamists in 2015, while 99 militants were killed and 50 others arrested in the first half of 2016.

    The ongoing civil war in Libya, the operation of terrorist groups in Tunisia and instability in Mali constitute a significant external threat for Algerian security.


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