March 28, 2019
ALGIERS (Reuters) – 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.
Bouteflika is under huge pressure to resign after the army called for his removal and allies deserted him. Protesters seeking to end his 20-year rule have taken to the streets for five weeks.
The army’s powerful chief of staff, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah, has called on the constitutional council to rule whether Bouteflika is fit for office.
Such a ruling would have to be ratified by a two-thirds majority in the two houses of parliament.
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 successor.
(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)