PRESIDENT to be declared unfit to rule, says Algerian army chief.

ALGIERS : Algeria's army chief called on Tuesday for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to be declared unfit to govern, following weeks of mass protests demanding the ailing leader step down after two decades of power.

The move would potentially clear the way for elections to be organised in the coming months unless the president recovers.

''It is necessary , even imperative, to adopt a solution to get of the crisis which responds to the legitimate demands of the Algerian people, and which guarantees the respect of the provisions of the constitution and safeguards the sovereignty of the state,'' General Ahmed Gaid Salah said in a television speech.

The armed forces  chief of staff, considered loyal to Bouteflika, added that the solution  ''is in article 102'' of the constitution, under which parliament could declare the president unable to perform his duties due to serious illness.

The 82-year old leader uses a chair and has rarely appeared in public since suffering a stroke in 2013. He has often flown to France or Switzerland for treatment.


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