"I have become an ordinary citizen, but this does not deprive me of my right to be proud of my contribution to the development of Algeria, which entered the 21st century in a much better condition than it had been before", Bouteflika said.
The former Algerian president stressed that he was proud of having led the nation for 20 years, adding that the country's progress in all spheres was made in this exact time.
"I am leaving politics, but at the same time I do not fear for the future of my country, I am sure that you will be able to continue the path of reforms together with the new leadership, and will apply all efforts to make our country flourish even more", he concluded.
The 82-year-old former head of state also asked for forgiveness for the mistakes he made during his long-term presidency.
"I am an ordinary person who may make mistakes… I apologise for the shortcomings", he said.
Bouteflika served four terms as president since assuming office in 1999. In February this year the leader who suffered a stroke several years prior, announced his new presidential bid. The announcement quickly prompted large waves of anti-government protests, the largest in over a decade. Bouteflika finally surrendered to the demonstrators' demands and said he would not seek a new term.