UPDATE 1-Algeria president makes first appearance since hospitalisation

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ALGIERS, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Algerian President made his first appearance on Sunday since being flown to a hospital in Germany 47 days ago after testing positive for coronavirus, saying he is recovering and will be back home soon.

Tebboune, 75, appeared in a video posted on Twitter and broadcast on state television. He said he is expected to make a complete recovery within three weeks at the latest.

“I’m recovering…I will recover my physical capacities in a week, two weeks or three weeks,” he said. “We will soon be in the country to continue building a new Algeria.”

Elected in December last year to succeed Abdelaziz Bouteflika who resigned after mass protests, Tebboune has promised to carry out political and economic reforms in the North African country, an OPEC member.

Early last month, Algerians approved changes to the constitution aimed at giving more powers to the parliament and prime minister as well as boosting political freedoms, although voter turnout was very low.

Tebboune said he had asked his staff at the presidency to coordinate with the election authority to prepare for a new election law, adding this law would pave the way for the post-constitution period.

“I have been following what is taking place in Algeria on a daily basis,” he said.

Since taking office Tebboune has announced plans to reform the economy and diversify it away from oil and gas, seeking to ease financial pressure caused by a fall in energy revenue – which accounts for 60% of the state budget and 94% of total export revenue. (Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed Editing by Barbara Lewis and Frances Kerry)

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