The constitutional council on Sunday called off the presidential election planned for July 4 citing a lack of candidates, prolonging a period of political transition and risking more anger from anti-government protesters.
The country’s constitutional council ratified the resignation Wednesday, formally ending the rule of a man who had locked down Algeria’s politics for a generation, but leaving the country on the threshold of new uncertainties.
Critics accused Gaid Salah of trying to orchestrate a coup, and the army chief suggested Saturday that unnamed figures were plotting against him as a result of his stand against Bouteflika's presidency.
Army chief Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah said he wants to trigger the process that would declare President Abdelaziz Bouteflika unfit for office, after more than a month of mass protests against the ailing leader's long rule.
The demonstrations, the largest in over 30 years, have grown larger every week and seem unstoppable. Algeria, the largest country in Africa and a rare pillar of stability in the Arab world, faces an uncertain future.
Still, there is a good reason to temper hope for Algeria. The global “wave” of authoritarianism building since 1994, the scholars found, has not yet crested. Indeed, their data shows, it “may still be picking up.”