ALGIERS, Algeria, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said Friday he signed a decree scheduling presidential elections for April 17.
"President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika signed on Friday the presidential decree relating to convening the electorate for the presidential elections to be held on April 17," a presidential statement published by the official Algeria Press Service said.
Bouteflika took power in 1999. His tenure lasted through the end of civil war in 2002 and the uprisings known as the Arab Spring, which gripped much of the Middle East and North Africa in 2011-12.
Following parliamentary elections in 2012, the BBC reported Bouteflika's government endured the Arab Spring relatively unscathed but felt pressured by opposition groups demanding reforms to the long-established administration.
Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said Thursday an overall level of national stability was made possible thanks to the president.
A group associated with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, dubbed Those Who Sign in Blood, took credit for a January 2013 terrorist attack in Algeria. It was said to be a response to an Algerian decision to let French forces use their airspace for a multilateral intervention in Mali, where al-Qaida occupied territory.
The Algerian Press Service made no statement on Bouteflika's political future.