Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who ruled Algeria for two decades before resigning in 2019 as huge protests engulfed the country, has died aged 84, public television announced.
The former strongman had left office in April 2019 under pressure from the military, following weeks of demonstrations over his bid to run for a fifth term in office.
After quitting, he had stayed out of the public eye at a residence in western Algiers.
The announcement of his death late Friday evening triggered little reaction in the North African country, reflecting how his absence had stamped him out of public interest.
A statement from his successor Abdelmadjid Tebboune noted Bouteflika’s past as a fighter in the war for independence from France and said flags would be lowered to half mast for three days to honour him.
But on the streets of the capital Algiers, many residents told AFP the once-formidable president would not be missed.
“Bless his soul. But he doesn’t deserve any tribute because he did nothing for the country,” said greengrocer Rabah.
Malek, a telecoms employee, said Bouteflika “was incapable of reforming the country despite his long rule”.
Even state broadcasters limited their coverage to the news of his death, without running special bulletins on his legacy.
Sabqpress news website said the funeral would take place on Sunday at the El-Alia cemetery east of the capital where his predecessors and other independence fighters are buried.
There was no immediate confirmation from authorities