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Algerian party says Bouteflika is mentally alert

Bouteflika, 78, suffered a stroke last year that put him into a French hospital for months, fuelling speculation

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Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's mental and cognitive faculties are intact and he will continue to govern, the ruling FLN party's chairman said on Friday, in comments aimed at quashing rumors over the ageing leader's health.

Bouteflika, 78, suffered a stroke last year that put him into a French hospital for months and fuelled speculation over whether the former independence fighter would step down and make way for a transition in the North African state.

"The president's motor skills are reduced because of the neurological accident, but he leads the country with his mental faculties and cognitive abilities and those are intact," the FLN ruling party leader Amar Saadani told Reuters on Friday.