Algerian army chief asks for the presidency to be vacated

Students wearing traditional clothes hold banners and shout slogans during a protest calling on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit, in Algiers, Algeria, Tuesday. — Reuters

ALGIERS — Algeria's army chief Gen. Ahmed Gaed Salah asked for the presidency to be vacated, Ennahar TV reported, saying the general considered the people's demands are valid following a month of mass protests against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Based on the constitution the upper house chairman Abdelkader Bensalah will be be caretaker for at least 45 days, Ennahar TV station said.

The army chief called Tuesday for Bouteflika to be declared unfit to govern.

Gen. Salah said in a televised speech the "way out of crisis ... is in Article 102" of the constitution, under which the president could be declared unable to perform his duties due to serious illness. — Agencies