Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algeria’s Longest-Serving President, Dies at 84 - The New York Times
Sep 18, 2021 1 min, 13 secs
Bouteflika, ousted from the presidency in 2019 after 20 years in office, joined the country’s fight for independence in the 1950s and helped lead the nation out of a brutal civil war in the 1990s.

ALGIERS — Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who joined his country’s fight against French colonial rule in the 1950s, rose to foreign minister at 26, went into exile over corruption charges and then returned to help lead the nation out of civil war, has died, state television reported on Friday.

Despite his health problems, he insisted on running for a fourth term in elections in April 2014, a decision that divided the ruling elite, the military and the country’s intelligence apparatus.

Bouteflika nevertheless remained in power, ruling by written directive and occasionally receiving foreign dignitaries.

Bouteflika would run for a fifth term in elections scheduled for April 18.

Bouteflika was appointed minister of youth and sports in the government of Ahmed Ben Bella, Algeria’s first elected president.

He headed Algerian delegations to negotiations with the French in 1963 and was appointed foreign minister that year.

Bouteflika remained in charge of the Foreign Ministry until Mr.

He was a talented and dashing foreign minister, who led a policy of anti-colonialism and noninterference and brought Algeria to prominence as a leader of the nonaligned movement and a founding member of the African Union.

Bouteflika won three more elections after that, the last one in April 2014, after the Constitution was amended to allow him to run without term limits.

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