(CNN)Algeria's ailing 82-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has resigned, according to a short statement published on Tuesday by the state-run Algeria Press Service.
Algeria's president resigns at 82
"President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika has officially notified president of the Constitutional Council of his decision to end his term as President of the Republic," said APS.
It's an about-face for the elderly president, who earlier this year announced his intentions to run for a fifth term in the Algerian presidential elections. The prospect sparked mass protests in Algeria, ultimately forcing Bouteflika to back down and withdraw his candidacy. The government has since postponed the elections.
Bouteflika was first elected in 1999 with the backing of the military, in a race boycotted by all other candidates and widely panned as fraudulent. However, he won praise as a new president for steering his country back to stability after "the black decade" of the 1990s, when a bloody civil war left more than 150,000 dead.
He was elected again in 2004, 2009 and 2014 by wide margins, although often with criticism about the elections' fairness.