Algeria's ailing president has asked the country to vote him in for a fourth term in April's elections, promising to amend the constitution and solve the country's social woes.

The letter by 77-year-old Abdelaziz Bouteflika was carried Saturday by the state news agency and said "the difficulties linked to my physical health shouldn't disqualify me." Bouteflika had a stroke last year and now has trouble speaking and is confined to a wheelchair.

There have been protests against Bouteflika's decision to seek another term but with the backing of the state, he is expected to win.

In the letter, he promised to amend the constitution to create a government "responding to the hopes of our people" as well as greater social justice.

Bouteflika first promised to change the constitution in 2011.