Algeria: Army Chief demands Bouteflika unfit to rule

The army chief of Algeria Ahmed Gaid Salah, has said that the President of the country Abdelaziz Bouteflika, is not fit to rule the country. This has come after the country saw weeks of protests against Bouteflika who has not been keeping well. The protests erupted as the President announced that he will seek a fifth term. It was after the protests were not abating that Bouteflika reversed his decision and the 82-year old put the elections forward and stated that he will remain in position till a new Constitution was announced. The move unleashed another wave of resentment as his current term was extended.

Salah, took to television to announce that the demands of the people of Algeria were valid and that President should step down. He said, “We must adopt a solution that helps us out of this crisis…a solution that respects and adheres to the Constitution so that it’s a suitable one for all sides…This solution is stipulated in Article 102 of the Constitution”.

Article 102 of the Algerian Constitution states that the Constitutional Council, has determined that the President is not well for taking care of his responsibilities and can even ask the Parliament to declare him unfit. Ever since Bouteflika has suffered a stroke in 2013, he has not been seen in public. If the decision of the Council is ratified by two-thirds majority of the Parliament’s both the houses, Abdelkader Bensalah, the chairman of the upper house will act as a caretaker President for at least 45 days.

Ahmed Gaid Salah, is the main power broker of Algeria and the announcement which he has made could lead the way for the removal of the President Bouteflika. The move has come after days of announcement made by the spokesman of the National Liberation Front, Hocine Khaldoun, that his party will take back the support for the proposal of holding a national conference which was intended to get the country out of the current political deadlock.

Ever since the announcement of Bouteflika to run for another term, thousands of Algerians took part in the demonstrations. The recent announcement by the army chief is a significant development in the wake of appointment of a new government by Bouteflika and other promised political reforms. People are perceiving the facts that it is a major escalation and that army has taken over the power.

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