With no clear successor to longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algerians may well see their frail leader who rarely appears in public cling on for a fifth term in office.
When Bouteflika came to power in 1999, he won the backing of his conflict-weary citizens who credited him with bringing about reconciliation after a fierce civil war.
Nearly two decades on and with a presidential election scheduled for next year, the 81-year-old leader shows little sign of leaving office despite his ailing health.
“As long as God keeps him alive, Bouteflika will definitely seek a fifth term,” said Mohamed Hennad, political science professor at the University of Algiers.
There has been constant speculation about the health of the president — and even rumours of his death — who suffered a stroke in 2013 that saw him spend three months in a French hospital.