Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, 75, went into five-day self-isolation on Saturday after “several” senior presidential and government officials showed symptoms of Covid-19, according to a presidential statement.
In recent days, doubts have emerged over Tebboune’s health since he has been away from the political scene for one week now as the country approaches the November 1 constitutional referendum.
The statement neither specified the number of officials infected nor how they contracted the virus. The president was last seen in the media during a meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Oct. 15.
Tebboune is scheduled to inaugurate the Great Mosque of Algiers on Nov. 1, which marks the 66th anniversary of Algerian Revolution and falls on the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday.
Government sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that civil and military senior officials are deeply concerned about the possibility of his absence from the official celebrations of Prophet Mohammed’s birthday, the mosque’s inauguration and participation in the vote on the constitutional referendum.
His absence will certainly spark speculation over his ability to continue in power, they noted.
Former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika almost completely halted his activity after April 27, 2013, when he suffered a stroke. His brother and advisor, Said, had unofficially assumed power when his health declined.