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Bouteflika's FLN party supports army's call for ailing president to resign

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Bouteflika's FLN party supports army's call for ailing president to resign
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Abdelaziz Bouteflika's ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party has called for the ailing president to step down, following similar calls from its coalition partner the National Rally for Democracy (RND).

In a party statement released Wednesday, the FLN announced their support for the army's call for the invocation of Article 102 of Algeria's constitution, which will essentially remove Bouteflika from power.

"We announce our support for the initiative as a start to a constitutional plan that will allow us to protect our country from dangers," the statement read.

The FLN party led Algeria's independence war against France in 1954 and has been in power ever since.

Earlier on Wednesday, Seddik Chihab, a spokesman for Algeria's coalition RND party, called his president's administration a 'cancer' on Wednesday morning.

Chihab was talking to Algerian channel Echorouk TV.

This follows former Algerian prime minister and RND leader Ahmed Ouyahia encouraging Bouteflika to resign, according to a party statement.

Former Ally, Ouyahia's message was yet another blow to Bouteflika's withering leadership after Algeria's army chief withdrew support for the embattled president on Tuesday.

Ahmed Gaid Salah, a long-time ally, has called for his dismissal under a part of the constitution that allows for a head of state to be removed if they are seriously unwell and unable to carry out their functions.

Bouteflika had a stroke five years ago and is rarely seen in public.

He dropped plans to run for a fifth presidential term in the face of widespread protests.

But he remained in office and demonstrations have resumed.

Gaid Salah, speaking on Tuesday, praised the maturity of Algerians and their peaceful protests.

“In order to protect our country from any hazardous situation, everybody needs to show selflessness and to take into consideration the higher interests of our home country in order to find an immediate solution to this crisis,” he said.

“A solution in accordance to the constitution that is the only guarantee of a stable situation.

“In this regard, we urge and have to adopt a solution that guarantees a crisis exit and responds to the legitimate demands of the Algerian people.

“This solution ensures the respect of the constitution and the rule of law. It will also guarantee consensus among all parties. Such a solution is stipulated by article 102 of the constitution."