Algeria's Ex-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika Dies Aged 84
Umer Jamshaid 1 month ago Sat 18th September 2021 | 09:00 AM
Algiers, Sept 18 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Sep, 2021 ) :Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who ruled Algeria for two decades before resigning in 2019 as huge protests engulfed the country, died on Friday aged 84, public television announced.
After quitting, he had stayed out of the public eye at a residence in western Algiers.
Dubbed "Boutef" by Algerians, he initially won respect for helping foster peace, notably with an amnesty law that prompted thousands of Islamist fighters to hand in their weapons.
Bouteflika went on to be elected for three more consecutive five-year terms, most recently in 2014.
Journalist Farid Alilat, who has written a biography of Bouteflika, says that at the height of his rule in the early 2000s, the president had "all the levers of power".
Crucially, he was backed by the army and the intelligence services.
"He became an absolute president," Alilat told AFP.
But Bouteflika's rule was marked by growing corruption, leaving many Algerians wondering how a country with vast oil wealth could end up with poor infrastructure and high unemployment that pushed many young people overseas.