Algeria protests: President Abdelaziz Bouteflika set to resign after weeks of unrest | World | News

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The president has faced repeated calls to resign after 20 years in office. According to El Bilad TV, Mr Bouteflika may resign as early as this Tuesday following pressure from within his own government. Last week, the army’s Chief of Staff, Ahmed Gaid Salah put forward a motion to declare that the president was now unfit for office.

Speaking in support of the army’s initiative, former prime minister Ali Bengalis said: “The merit of this approach is that it responds to a pressing popular demand.

“We are facing a political, constitutional and institutional crisis.”

The 82-year-old who suffered a stroke in 2013 has barely been seen in public which has led to calls for his removal.

In order to try and defuse the recent protests, Mr Bouteflika said last month that he would not run for a fifth term in office.

READ MORE: ALGERIA PROTESTS: Fears of MILITARY INTERVENTION

Despite that admission, he also refused to step away immediately in order to wait for a national conference on political change.

Only hours before the latest news, Mr Bouteflika had called a caretaker cabinet, keeping Mr Salah as the army’s Chief of Staff.

In the wake of his latest move, hundreds took to the street in the capital in order to demand his immediate removal.

Although General Salah’s move had been welcomed by the opposition, critics have accused the army chief of trying to orchestrate a coup.

READ MORE: Algeria plane crash: More than 250 dead as military plane crashes

Demonstrators have also rejected any form of military intervention and want to dismantle the entire ruling elite which makes up the government.

Speaking on the recent events in the African country, United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres praised any move that would follow the public’s wishes.

Addressing an Arab League summit in Tunis, Mr Guterres insisted that any steps should be made in a way “that addresses the concerns of the Algerian people in a timely way”.

In what could be a sign of his imminent departure, a top Algerian businessman with ties to the president was arrested while attempting to enter Tunisia.



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