Algeria's Abdelaziz Bouteflika 'improving every day'

Image source, AFP
Image caption, Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been in power since 1999

Algeria's prime minister has denied rumours that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is seriously ill, saying he is "improving every day" in Paris.

Mr Bouteflika, 76, has not been seen in public since he suffered a mini-stroke in April and was taken to France.

His doctors have asked him to take "complete rest" while he recuperates, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal told state media.

His health has raised concern about stability in the North African state.

Mr Bouteflika has been in power since 1999.

In spite of his age and apparently failing health, there are still those who believe Mr Bouteflika could stand for a fourth term in office in elections scheduled for next year, correspondents say.

Algerian prosecutors have ordered legal action against two local newspapers which reported that he was in a coma, AFP news agency reports.

France's Le Point magazine said Mr Bouteflika, who was treated for cancer in 2005, was in very poor health, with some of his vital functions damaged.

There are some reports that he has returned to Algeria but this was denied by Mr Sellal.

The prime minister said "false information carried by certain foreign media" about the president's health undermined Algeria's security and development, the Algerian Press Service (APS) reports.

"The president, whose survival has never been questioned and whose health is improving every day, has been required by his doctors to take complete rest in order to make a full recovery," he is quoted as saying.

"Soon President Bouteflika's illness will be no more than an unpleasant memory."

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