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Algerian President Finally Emerges from Isolation

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. 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 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.