Gaid Salah, Algeria Army Chief Calls For Bouteflika To Be Forced Out

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Algeria army chief says the presidency should be declared vacant the latest move in efforts to get ailing president Abdul Aziz Bouteflika to leave office.

Chief of Staff Gaid Salah’s call is thus seeking the application of article 102 of the constitution which stipulates that a president can be removed from office if he is unable to execute his duties.

His address was carried by the El-Bilad TV netwrok as he addressed top military officers. Political watchers hold that it could be the main reason that Bouteflika could be forced to resign.

Algeria has for months now been riled by anti-government protests demanding the immediate resignation of Bouteflika at a time he was preparing to contest in April polls.

Under mounting pressure, the president announced earlier this month that he was not going to contest in the polls but that he was going to remain in charge till his successor was chosen.

The president has already agreed not to stand for a fifth term in upcoming elections, which have been delayed. 

Demonstrators accuse the 82-year-old of a ploy to prolong his 20-year rule. 

Talks have been set up to oversee the country's political transition, draft a new constitution and set the date for elections. But they do not yet have a date to start.


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