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Middle East

Algeria constitutional council has not met on Bouteflika

Algeria constitutional council has not met on Bouteflika

ALGIERS: Algeria’s constitutional council has not held any meeting so far to decide whether President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is fit for office, state radio said on Thursday, after the army called for his removal and allies deserted the veteran leader.

Hundreds of protesters again took to the streets of central Algiers to demand Bouteflika’s resignation and also to criticize the country’s entire political system.

“Thieves, you have destroyed the country,” they chanted.

The army’s powerful chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Gaed Salah, has called on the constitutional council to rule whether the ailing 82-year-old president is fit for office.

Such a ruling would have to be ratified by a two-thirds majority in the two houses of parliament.

The protesters have been staging peaceful demonstrations against Bouteflika’s 20-year rule for five weeks.

Under Article 102 of the constitution, the chairman of parliament’s upper house, Abdelkader Bensalah, would serve as caretaker president for at least 45 days after Bouteflika’s departure.

Even if Bouteflika quits, there is no clear long-term successor.

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