Although Algiers remained calm, security forces are bracing for further protests on Friday as demonstrators vowed to take to the streets until the 82-year-old ailing leader resigns.
Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been running the country since 1999 and is its longest-serving president. But his re-election bid for April's presidential run has prompted thousands to take to the streets and demonstrate.
A complex political configuration and the scars of civil war helped Algeria avoid the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. But eight years later, the country faces political turmoil as the President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika seeks a fifth term in office.
Algeria's war of independence continues to define how the state has evolved, yet promises made but not kept are what concerns the younger generation.
President Emmanuel Macron also recognised the French state was responsible for the death of a dissident mathematician in Algeria in 1957, admitting for the first time to systematic torture by the French military during Algeria's independence war.
Seen in a wheelchair, Abdelaziz Bouteflika's appearance in Algiers comes as the secretary general of the National Liberation Front (FLN) asked the 81-year-old head of state to run for a fifth term in presidential polls set for 2019.
The interior ministry said turnout was 38.25 percent, reflecting the distrust among Algerians that a weak parliament can bring about change in a system dominated by the National Liberation Front since independence in 1962.
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