Algerian President announces plans to run for fifth term, defying protesters' demands for him to step down

Algerians chant slogans under a national flag during a protest rally on Friday.

Algiers, Algeria (CNN)Embattled Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has declared his candidacy for next month's election, defying massive protests in the country over the ailing and absent ruler's refusal to relinquish his grip on power.

The 82-year-old leader suffered a stroke in 2013 and has rarely been seen in public since, but nonetheless plans to run for a fifth term, his campaign manager Abdelghani Zaalane said Sunday on national television.
Zaalane said Bouteflika would call for early elections, but only if he is elected again.
Bouteflika would organize a national conference to open the way for a debate to consider proposals to amend the constitution and decide the timing for early elections, Zaalane said.
    Bouteflika vowed not to run in those elections, Zaalane added.
    The announcement is likely to prompt further discontent in the North Af