Algeria army chief demands Bouteflika be declared unfit to rule

File photo shows Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaid Salah, chief of Staff of the Algerian Armed Forces and Vice Minister of Defence. (AFP)

Algeria’s army chief called on Tuesday for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to be declared unfit to govern, following weeks of mass protests urging on the ailing leader to step down.

General Ahmed Gaid Salah said in a televised speech the “way out of crisis ... is in Article 102” of the constitution, under which the president could be declared unable to perform his duties due to serious illness.

Based on Article 52 of the Algerian constitution, the chairman of the parliament's upper house, Abdelkader Bensalah, would serve as caretaker president for at least 45 days.

People carry national flags during a protest in Algiers calling on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit. (Reuters)

People carry national flags during a protest in Algiers calling on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit. (Reuters)

Thousands of people rallied in Algiers on Tuesday calling on Bouteflika to quit, keeping up the pressure in weeks of protests that threaten to topple him and the elderly elite that has helped keep him in power for 20 years.

Bouteflika, among the veterans of the 1954-62 war of independence against France who continue to dominate Algeria, has bowed to protesters by reversing a decision to seek another term and putting off elections that had been set for April.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:55 - GMT 06:55
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