Hopes in Algeria and elsewhere that President Houari Boumedienne would recover from his critical illness have been dashed.
Hopes in Algeria and elsewhere that President Houari Boumedienne would recover from his critical illness have been dashed. On Tuesday (28 November), he again slipped into a deep coma after a severe relapse. Medical sources said the following forty-eight hours were to be very critical for the Algerian head of state.
SYNOPSIS: A mood of optimism swept over the people of Algiers on Monday (27 November) when their leader showed some signs of recovery.
Reports of his improvement filtered past a curtain of tight press restrictions. Little was Known of fifty-one-year-old Boumedienne's condition during the ten days he was in a coma. A report from the official Algerian News Agency said he had regained consciousness on Sunday (26 November), could move his limbs and would apparently not need major brain surgery. The news came after days of consultations by top international doctors at Mustafa Hospital, where he is being treated. But a leading cancer specialist from Sweden, working with the team, turned the optimism into pessimism. He said the President had a type of blood cancer.
State affairs are being handled by the eight-man Council of the Revolution during President Boumedienne's illness. some observers say it is split between followers of his rigorous socialism and more liberal elements. Before the illness, the president had kept such divisions subdued through his firm authority and skilful manoeuvring.