Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, unseen for months because of health problems, headed over a cabinet meeting on Sunday for the first time this year.
The 76-year-old leader who has been in power for 14 years presided over a cabinet he reshuffled earlier this month, which has already approved seven draft laws, including the 2014 budget, the Algerian state news agency reported.
In the surprise sweeping cabinet changes, Bouteflika replaced a third of ministers along with a rumored purge of the military intelligence services. The changes have raised speculations that he will seek re-election in 2014 or an extension of his current term.
Bouteflika returned home in July after he was flown to Paris in April for hospital treatment after suffering what his doctors described as a mini-stroke.
Critics have said his health concerns should rule out an extension of his time in office but his allies indicated they would back him should he seek re-election next year or extend his current term by two years through a constitutional amendment.
Bouteflika came to power in 1999 after he helped to end the country's civil war. He is one of the few remaining veterans of the war of independence against France.
Minister: Algeria boosts forces on Tunisian borderAlgeria’s army has reinforced its forces along the eastern border with Tunisia, Interior Minister Daho Ould Kablia said on Thursday, days after ... Middle East
Algeria’s Bouteflika back home from treatment in FranceAlgerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who had been in a French hospital since suffering a stroke in April, returned home to convalesce on Tuesday, ... Middle East
Algerian president makes surprise cabinet reshuffle ahead of electionsAlgeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika made several top cabinet appointments Wednesday, his office said, in a surprise reshuffle seen as ... Africa