Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who withdrew Monday from a bid to win a fifth term in office, has had persistent health woes leading to several periods in hospital over more than a decade.
In power since 1999 Bouteflika, now 82, was weakened by a stroke in 2013 which affected his mobility and speech, and in rare recent public appearances he was in a wheelchair.
Here is a timeline of his health problems:
November 26-December 17, 2005: Bouteflika admitted for three weeks to the Val-de-Grace military hospital in Paris. Despite a quasi-information blackout, a single Algerian medical bulletin revealed he was operated on for a “haemorrhagic ulcer in the stomach”.
He spent two weeks convalescing in Paris before returning to Algiers.
From April 19-21, 2006: He was again admitted to Val-de-Grace for post-operative check-ups.
April 27-July 16, 2013: He was hospitalised for 80 days in Paris following a stroke, initially at Val-de-Grace before moving to an institution for disabled people for rehabilitation.
A June 11 health bulletin said Bouteflika suffered a transient ischaemic attack, or mini-stroke, on April 27, which has “not affected his vital functions”.
After tests, “his doctors recommended that he observe a period of convalescence and functional rehabilitation to consolidate his recovery”.
January 13-16, 2014: Medical checks at Val-de Grace.
On April 17, 2014: In his first public appearance since May 2012, he voted in the presidential election from a wheelchair. He won despite his health problems.
November 13-15, 2014: Briefly hospitalised in Grenoble in southern France. According to regional newspaper Le Dauphine Libere, he was in a cardio-vascular unit.
December 3, 2015: Another visit to France for a “short private visit”, during which he had “regular medical check-ups”.
April 24-29, 2016: Bouteflika had “regular medical check-ups” in Geneva. His health became a topic for speculation at home after the publication on April 10 of a photograph, tweeted by then French premier Manuel Valls, in which he seemed very weakened.
November 7-15, 2016: Again in Grenoble for a medical check-up.
February 20, 2017: His office announced the postponement of a visit to Algeria by German Chancellor Angela Merkel because Bouteflika was “temporarily unavailable” due to “chronic bronchitis”.
On May 4 he makes a public appearance to vote – again in a wheelchair – at the legislative elections.
From August 27 to September 1, 2018: He undergoes a “routine medical check-up” in Geneva, according to his office. It does not go into details.
December 3, 2018: His office says he called off a meeting with visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman because of “heavy flu”.
February 24, 2019: Two weeks after announcing he will seek a fifth term on April 18, Bouteflika heads to Geneva for “routine medical checks”.
March 7, 2019: Campaign manager Zaalane insists Bouteflika’s health raises “no worries” and that he has almost completed the medical tests at the Swiss hospital.
March 10, 2019: After a two-week stay, Bouteflika returns to Algeria.
The next day he pulls out of the race for a fifth term and postpones the April 18 election.
In a message carried by national news agency APS, Bouteflika vows “to hand over the duties and prerogatives of the president of the republic to the successor freely chosen by the Algerian people”.