Embattled Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika says he will step down before his fourth term ends on April 28.

In a short statement issue on Monday, the president's office said Bouteflika would take "important steps to ensure the continuity of the functioning of state institutions" during a transition period following his departure from the post he's held since 1999.

Millions of Algerians have been holding weekly protests nationwide to demand that Bouteflika leave office along with his cadre of loyalists. The 82-year-old president has been in public rarely since he suffered a stroke in 2013.

He originally declared his candidacy for a fifth term, then withdrew and postponed the election in response to the massive protests.