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Algeria army urges removal of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has led Algeria since 1999. (PHOTO/COURTESY )

ALGIERS – Algeria’s army chief of staff has demanded President Abdelaziz Bouteflika be declared unfit to rule after weeks of protests against him.

“We must find a way out of this crisis immediately, within the constitutional framework,” Lt Gen Ahmed Gaed Salah said in a speech on television.

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

But demonstrators accuse him of a ploy to prolong his 20-year rule.

Talks have been set up to negotiate Algeria’s political future, which will be led by veteran UN diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi.

Protests began over a month ago when the 82-year-old president said he planned to stand for another term in office. But people continued to march even after he agreed not to stand, instead of demanding immediate change.

Lt Gen Gaed Salah has previously said the military and the people had a united vision of the future, hinting at the armed forces’ support for the demonstrators.

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