Algerian army chief calls for President Bouteflika removal from office

Algeria’s army chief of staff Ahmed Gaed Salah has called for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to be declared unfit to hold rule the North African state. The move follows months of protests calling for the president to step down from his 20-year rule of the nation. In a televised broadcast on Tuesday, Lt Gen Gaed Salah called for the implementation of article 102 of the constitution, which allows removal of president on medical grounds of inability to exercise functions.

“We must find a way out of this crisis immediately, within the constitutional framework,” he said in a speech on television. This will be done through Algeria’s Constitutional council. Protests began over a month ago when the 82-year-old president said he planned to stand for another term in office.

But people continued to march even after he agreed not to stand, instead demanding immediate change. For Article 102 to be invoked, it will have to be supported by two thirds of parliament. If successful, upper house chairman Abdelkader Bensalah will become caretaker president of the nation for 45 days.“This solution achieves consensus and must be accepted by all,” Lt Gen Gaed Salah added.

President Bouteflika has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013. His quest to run for another term in office was short-lived after it was met with nationwide protests seeking for him to immediately step down.At the time, the president stopped short of quitting as head of state and said he would stay on until a new constitution is adopted, effectively extending his current term.

Algerian elections were to be held on April 19, but were postponed when the president rescinded his bid to run for the top office.

Source: CGTN