"A stronger presence of young people" inside political institutions, economic reform and a scaling back of bureaucratic red tape would be among the topics to be discussed at the conference.

Former prime minister Abdelmalek Sellal -- who ran the incumbent's successful presidential bids in 2004, 2009 and 2014 -- has once again been named campaign manager.

The president has come up with "a strong and new plan" involving economic and political reforms to enact for the benefit of Algerians, Sellal told private TV network Ennahar.

The country's four-party ruling coalition -- which includes the president's National Liberation Front (FLN) -- backed Bouteflika earlier this month.

The FLN designated the president as its candidate on Saturday, in an address by party coordinator Mouad Bouchareb to thousands of people in the capital Algiers.

Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia has said Bouteflika's health is not "an obstacle" to performing presidential duties.

His continued backing by the establishment makes him a firm favourite.

OTHERS

Retired general Ali Ghediri, 64, was the first to announce his candidacy after the presidency set the election date.

Algeria's main Islamist party, the Movement for the Society of Peace, will also take part, backing its candidate Abderrazak Makri.

It has said Bouteflika would be unable to handle the demands of another term in office because of his poor health.

The country's oldest opposition party, the Front of Socialist Forces, announced last month it would not field a candidate and called for an "active, intensive and peaceful boycott".

In early 2016, he dissolved the all-powerful DRS intelligence agency after dismissing its leader General Mohamed Mediene, known as "Toufik", who had clung to the post for a quarter of a century.

Presidential candidates have until March 3 at midnight (2300 GMT) to submit their applications.

On Sunday Bouteflika appointed one of his advisers -- 70-year-old former justice minister and judge Tayeb Belaiz -- to head Algeria's 12-member constitutional council responsible for validating presidential candidates, APS said.

For the last presidential election in 2014, Bouteflika had only declared his intention to run a few days ahead of the deadline.

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