Algerian army chief Ahmed Gaid Salah has demanded that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika be declared incapable of government after weeks of protests over the failure of the head of state to seek a fifth term.
Although Bouteflika later reversed his decision, the 82-year-old postponed the April election and said he would remain in power until the passage of a new constitution, effectively extending his current term of office.
In a televised speech on Tuesday, Salah, the army chief, said he believed popular demands were valid and that the presidency should be vacated.
"We need to adopt a solution that will get us out of the way of this crisis … a solution that respects the Constitution and keeps it fit for all sides," Salah said.
"This solution is laid down in Article 1
Under Article 102, the Constitutional Council was able to state that the President is too ill to carry out his duties in full and to ask Parliament to declare him unfit. Bouteflika is rarely seen in public since a stroke in 2013.
If a two-thirds majority of the House of Commons and the House of Lords ratifies the Council's decision, the House Leader, Abdelkader Bensalah, would serve as Administrator President for at least 45 days.
El Bilad Television said the Constitutional Council had called a special session after Salah's move.
The army chief is one of the leading estate agents in Algeria, and his announcement could pave the way for Bouteflika's removal.
قايد صالح يدعو Up from the last 10 days to the end of the last 10 days, Speaker of the National Liberation Front (FLN) said he would ask the party to hold Bouteflika's proposal to host a national conference aims to bring the country out of its current political impasse, withdraw its support.
T Tipping Point & # 39;
Since February 22, hundreds of thousands of Algerians have participated in nationwide demonstrations protesting the re-election of Bouteflika.
Dalia Ghanem Yazbeck, a scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center, told Al Jazeera that the military " sent mixed messages" from the beginning of the demonstrations.
"First, it was" we "I will not tolerate chaos" and then, "We are in the voice of the people", and what Gaid Saleh said today was a validation that the military is in the political arena Strong attitude, "she said from Algiers, the country's capital.
" What he said today confirms that the Algerian military has been and remains the devoted guardians of Algerian power, "Yazbeck said.
Army is likely to have a replacement in mind, she said, which they could release in the coming days.
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has rarely been seen in public since he suffered a stroke in 2013. [File: Sidali Djarboub/AP]
Marwan Bishara, senior political analyst Al Jazeera also described Salah's announcement as a significant development, with Bouteflika having appointed a new government and pledging political reforms.
"It's egg n important turning point for Algeria … He (Bouteflika) has created the conditions for a new national dialogue in Algeria to pave the way for democratization of the country, "said Bishara.
"Well, what happens today is the opposite of what we promised."
Salah's announcement signaled "a major escalation" and "essentially means that the army has taken power," added Bishara.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, thousands of people returned to the streets of Algiers to demand Bouteflika's resignation and pressure from the people.
"The system has to go, there is no reason to resist it," said Belkacem Abidi, 25, one of some 6,000 demonstrators, mostly students, who gathered in downtown Algiers.
"I am optimistic that our pressure will change things peacefully," said architect Noureddine Bahi, 52.