Not only did Bouteflika’s people and closest military chief turn against him, but his own political party FLN deem him unfit to lead Algeria, yet another blow to the president.
Rabat – The Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN), President Abdelaziz Bouteflika‘s party, called for the invocation of the Algerian Constitution’s Article 102, allowing for the removal of an incapacitated president.
In a statement released on Wednesday, FLN supported the proposal of Ahmed Gaid Salah, the Algerian National Army senior officer and Bouteflika’s long-time ally, to remove the president from power by applying Article 102.
“We announce our support for the initiative as a start to a constitutional plan that will allow us to protect our country from dangers,” stated FLN.
The party has also rejected Bouteflika’s idea to hold a national conference, saying that it is no longer a “valid”one.
Although he withdrew his bid for a fifth presidential term, Bouteflika plans to hold a “national conference” to approve a new constitution and reform the political system before his successor steps into power.
By delaying the April 18 elections, Bouteflika effectively extended his fourth term indefinitely.
Meanwhile, Seddik Chihab, a spokesman for Algeria’s National Rally for Democracy (RND) party, which is in coalition with the FLN, described Bouteflika’s administration on Wednesday as “cancer.”
Another ally of Bouteflika who turned against him and joined the voice of the Algerian people is former Algerian prime minister and RND leader Ahmed Ouyahia, who urged Bouteflika to resign in a message on Tuesday.
In a speech on Tuesday, March 26, Gaid Salah, the most powerful army chief, insisted that the solution to Algeria’s “crisis” is in the Constitution.
“We must find a way out of this crisis immediately, within the constitutional framework that is the only guarantee to preserve a stable political situation,” Salah said.
Algerian beIN SPORTS journalist Hafid Derradji, on the other hand, criticized Salah’s statement, calling it “circumentive,” and said that the “army should stay out of politics.”
“[Salah’s] intervention can be seen as a way to block the proposal of the temporary presidential council to oust the chief of staff. People have the right to be suspicious, to doubt and fear you because you made us used to not trust you even if you give up,” wrote Derradji on his Facebook page on Tuesday.
Since February 22, hundreds of thousands of Algerians have been protesting in the anti-Bouteflika demonstrations, including students, judges, lawyers, unions, and many others.