- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 12, 2019

PARIS (AP) — Algeria’s longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been known as a wily survivor ever since he fought for independence from France in the 1950s and 1960s.

And his crafty concessions on Monday night aimed at quelling mass protests show he’s not ready to give up yet.

While he abandoned his bid for a fifth term in office, his simultaneous postponement of an election set for next month has critics worried he intends to hold on to power indefinitely.

So much about the 82-year-old Bouteflika, badly weakened by a 2013 stroke, has remained an enigma. The president returned Sunday from two weeks in a Geneva hospital, but the exact state of his health is unclear.

A frail Bouteflika, shown in rare televised images Monday, gave little hint of his firebrand past.

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