Algeria’s Tebboune makes first TV appearance in almost two months

Algerian leader was transferred to a hospital in Germany in late October after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Visibly thinner and wearing a casual jacket, the 75-year-old president sat at a desk next to an Algerian flag [AFP]

Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said he was recovering from COVID-19 in his first televised appearance since he was hospitalised almost two months ago.

“Thanks to God … I have started on the road to recovery,” the 75-year-old said on Sunday, a day after the first anniversary of his election.

“It may take two or three weeks but, God willing, I will recover all my bodily strength.”

The video was broadcast on state television and published on Tebboune’s Twitter feed.

He did not indicate his location, but the Twitter feed carried the comment “we will meet soon on the territory of the nation”.

Tebboune was sent to an Algerian military hospital in mid-October before being transferred to Germany on a special flight later that month.

His office initially did not explain the reason for the move, but confirmed a week later he tested positive for coronavirus.

His absence sparked concerns of an institutional crisis, weeks after voters approved a revised constitution on record low turnout in a referendum widely seen as a manoeuvre to neutralise the long-running Hirak protest movement.

Tebboune has been unable to sign the revised constitution into law because he must be on Algerian soil to do so.

He also has until December 31 to sign off on a 2021 budget.

But he said on Sunday he was following developments in Algeria “day by day, if not hour by hour”.

Visibly thinner and wearing a casual jacket, he sat at a desk next to an Algerian flag.

Tebboune won last year’s widely boycotted December 12 presidential election following months of mass protests that swept his predecessor Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies