On Tuesday, March 26, the Chief of Staff of the Algerian People's National Army (ANP) Ahmed Gaïd Salah reportedly called for the constitutional removal of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. According to local reports, Salah made the claim during a visit with troops in Ouargla province on Tuesday, allegedly stating that parliament should act to oust President Bouteflika under the auspices of Article 102 of the country's constitution. Further details are still emerging and it is not immediately clear if parliament is aligned with Salah's view.
Associated political rallies and protests are likely in the wake of Salah's statement in the near-term. A heightened security presence and associated disruptions (e.g. transportation, commercial, internet service) are likely during protests. Clashes between protesters and police cannot be ruled out.
Ahmed Gaïd Salah invoked Article 102 of the Algerian Constitution which allows parliament to declare the incapacity of the President of the Republic via a two-thirds majority vote in a joint session of both legislative chambers. If the parliament determines the "period of incapacity" continues beyond 45 days, the legislature can declare the office of the president vacant and move to legally mandate the president's resignation. The President of the Council of the Nation would then assume the duties of Head of State for a maximum period 90 days, during which elections would be organized.
Multiple protests have been organized across the country since February 22 in response to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's campaign to be reelected for a fifth term; presidential elections were set for April 18 before being postponed by the president. Bouteflika previously stated he would not run for reelection following weeks of protests over his candidacy.
Individuals in Algeria are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate business and transportation disruptions as well as a heightened security presence near protest sites, refrain from discussing political subjects in public or on social media, and adhere to instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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