Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika might resign this week, the private Ennahar and El Bilad TV channels said on Sunday (March 31) after mass protests and pressure from the army demanding he end his 20-year rule.
Bouteflika, who has rarely been in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, might announce his resignation on Tuesday (April 2), Ennahar TV said, citing political sources. El Bilad TV, quoting unnamed sources, said he would quit this week.
The reports come after the army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah, renewed a call on Saturday (March 30) for the Constitutional Council to declare the ailing 82-year-old Bouteflika unfit to rule.
Bouteflika said on March 11 he was dropping plans for a fifth term but stopped short of stepping down immediately, to wait for a national conference on political change.
That further enraged protesters, prompting Salah to step in by proposing last week to ask the constitutional council to see whether he is still fit for office.
The reports came hours after Bouteflika named a caretaker Cabinet. Political sources said that might be a signal that Bouteflika could resign, as a caretaker president cannot name Cabinets.
Tens of thousands have taken to the streets of Algiers for more than a month, complaining of corruption, nepotism and economic mismanagement they say has tarnished Bouteflika’s rule.