Algeria's ruling coalition party calls for president to quit


ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria’s powerful army chief insisted Wednesday that the military won’t get mixed up in politics, a day after he said a constitutional process should be set in motion to declare ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika unfit for office.

A barrage of criticism, mainly from opposition parties, continued after the surprising remarks by Ahmed Gaid Salah, who is among the president’s most loyal cohorts.

“We have never and will never deviate from our constitutional mission,” the army chief said in an address at a military base in southern Algeria.

The North African nation is trying to find a way out of a major political crisis which has led to massive demonstrations each Friday since Feb. 22 to demand the departure of the 82-year-old president and the system he represents which is widely seen as being corrupt.

Bouteflika, in office since 1999, canceled the April 18 presidential election and withdrew his bid for a fifth term, but announced a transition process that opponents fear could keep him in power indefinitely.

Hollywood Star's Wife Played Key Role in International Criminal Court's Arrest Warrant for Israeli Leaders

Bouteflika has rarely been seen in public, and not addressed the nation in person, since a 2013 stroke.

Some of the president’s traditional backers fell in line Wednesday with Gaid Salah’s suggestion the Constitutional Council invoke Article 102 to declare the president unfit. The parliament must then pass the measure.

One of the main party’s in Algeria’s ruling coalition called for Bouteflika’s resignation. The RND party’s secretary general and, until recently, prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia said in a written statement it “recommends” Bouteflika’s resignation to facilitate the transition of power.

“In order to avoid any institutional vacuum, the president must urgently appoint a new government,” he said, while expressing “gratitude” to Bouteflika for “all he has given Algeria.”

Gaid Salah said Tuesday that putting the matter before the Constitutional Council was “the only guarantee for political stability.”

The other party in the presidential coalition, the FLN — Bouteflika’s party — has yet to comment. However, a dissident group within the party expressed support on Wednesday for Gaid Salah’s proposal, calling it “the beginning of the return to constitutional legality.”

Two leading opposition parties firmly denounced the army chief’s call. The Front for Socialist Forces dubbed it a move against “the popular will … the departure of the system and its men, not just the head of state.” The Rally for Culture and Democracy denounced what it called “an attempted coup d’etat.”

Earlier this month, Bouteflika overhauled the government. He said he planned to establish a national conference to draft a new constitution and set a new date for the election.

Bouteflika is credited with bringing peace to his nation after the bloody civil war of the 1990s.

Daughter of American Who Vanished in 2017 Reveals Devastating Update US Intel Gave Her


Sylvie Corbet and Elaine Ganley in Paris contributed to this report.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City