Algerian army repeats call to declare president unfit for office

March 30, 2019

Algeria’s army chief renewed a call for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to be declared unfit for office and told opponents not to seek to undermine the military, after weeks of protests demanding an end to the ailing leader’s 20-year rule.

Bouteflika, 82, who has rarely been seen in public in recent years, has faced mass demonstrations for more than a month. His announcement that he would not seek a fifth term but that he would not quit immediately has failed to assuage protesters.

To break the stalemate, Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah made a proposal on Tuesday for the constitutional council declare Bouteflika unfit for office, a move provided for under article 102 of the charter.

Salah said in a statement issued by the Defense Ministry on Saturday that most people supported the army’s plan but some were resisting, without naming those opposed to the move.