Algeria’s 81-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will seek a fifth term in April’s elections, he announced in a message published by state media.

Mr Bouteflika has been in office for 20 years but has rarely been seen in public since he had a stroke in 2013.

He insisted his “unwavering desire” to serve Algeria allowed him to “transcend the constraints of health concerns”.

Critics say this makes it difficult for him to carry out his duties.

He is confined to a wheelchair and has cancelled recent official meetings.

Mr Bouteflika’s last meeting with a senior foreign official was during a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in September. An earlier meeting with her had been cancelled.

However, Mr Bouteflika is widely expected to win the April election.

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