Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune returned to Algeria Tuesday after a two-month absence in Germany, where he received treatment for Covid-19.
The President’s return ends a period of uncertainty in a country facing a health, political and economic crises.
“It is hard to be far from one’s country and even harder for someone who has a lot of responsibility,” Tebboune said, after he arrived from Berlin.
The President, looking in good health, was greeted by several senior Algerian officials, including Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad and army chief of staff Said Chengriha.
The prime minister said he was “happy to see the president of the republic back in his homeland to convalesce” and “eager to continue the work to achieve the objectives of the ‘new Algeria’.”
Tebboune’s prolonged absence had sparked concerns of an institutional crisis, after voters in November approved a revised constitution on record low turnout in a referendum widely seen as a manoeuvre to neutralise a long-running 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.
His absence came as Algeria faces a sharp recession due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and a gaping budget deficit due to low crude prices that have slashed the country’s vital oil revenues.
Mass protests broke out in early last year against the ailing octogenarian’s bid for a fifth term in office.
The North African country has officially recorded 98,988 cases of the novel coronavirus and 2,745 deaths.