Algerian army chief Ahmed Gaid Salah called on President Abdelaizz Bouteflika to be declared unfit to rule the country after weeks of protests against the sick president's decision to seek a fifth term.
Although Bouteflika later overturned its decision, the 82-year-old postponed the April elections and said it would remain in office until a new constitution was adopted, a move that effectively prolonged its current mandate.
In a televised address Tuesday, Salah, the army chief, said he considered people's demands as valid and that the presidency should be released.
"We have to adopt a solution that will help us with this crisis … a decision that respects and adheres to the constitution so that it is appropriate for all countries," said Salah.
"This decision is provided for in Article 1
According to Article 102, the Constitutional Council may determine that the President is too ill to fully perform his duties and request the Parliament to declare it inappropriate. having suffered a stroke in 2013.
If a majority of two-thirds of the lower one the Chamber of Deputies will ratify the decision of the council, the chairman of the upper chamber, Abdelcader Bensala, will serve as the president for at least 45 days.
El Bilad's TV station said the Constitutional Council had convened a special session after Salah's decision. 19659005] The Chief Army is one of the largest power brokers in Algeria and its announcement can pave the way for the removal of Buteflika.
– EL BILAD – البلاد (@El_Bilade) A spokesman for the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) said he would ask the party to withdrew its support for Bouteflika's proposal to hold a national conference aimed at removing the country from the current political stalemate.  From February 22nd, hundreds of thousands of Algerians took part in national demonstrations protesting Bouteflika's re-election bid.
Dalia Ganem Jabbeek, a Carnegie Middle East resident, told Al Jazeera that the military sent " mixed messages" from the start of the demonstrations. First, it was "we will not tolerate chaos," and then "we are with the voice of the people," and what Guido Saleh said today was a confirmation that the military took a strong stance on the political arena, she said from Algeria, the capital of the country. , "What he said today confirms that Algerian soldiers have been and will remain devoted guardians of Algerian power," Yazbeck said. The army is probably considering replacement, she said, who could make public in the next few days.
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been rarely seen publicly since he suffered a stroke in 2013 [File: Sidali Djarboub/AP]
Al Jazeera's senior political analyst Marwan Bishara also announced Salah's statement of significant development, noting that Bouteflika has appointed a new government and promised political reforms.
"This is a great turning point for Algeria … he (Bouteflika) has launched a new national dialogue in Algeria to pave the way for a country's democratization," Bishara said.
"So what is happening today, from this point of view, is the exact opposite of what we were promised."
Salah's announcement signals a "big escalation" and "basically means that the army has taken over," Bishara added.
Meanwhile, earlier on Tuesday, thousands of people returned to the streets of Algeria by calling Bouteflika to hand over resignation, keeping pressure from the public
"The system must go. There is no point in resisting, "Belkemem said Abdiy, 25, one of about 6,000 protesters, mostly students, gathered in the center of Algiers
" I am optimistic that our pressure will change things peacefully, "said architect Nourdin Bachi, 52.