Algerian military chief, Ahmed Gaid Salah, known for telling veteran leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to resign, is dead.

He was 79.

Gen. Salah, who was one of the last veterans of the 1954-62 independence war against France still in power, died of a heart attack.

Bouteflika, who ruled the North African nation since 1999, resigned in April after mass protests, leaving Gen. Salah as a de facto leader.

The opposition has been calling for the whole of the old regime to quit power.

Gen. Salah has been replaced as acting army head by Gen. Said Chengriha and three days of mourning have been announced.

He played a major role in organizing the December 11 presidential elections, which were boycotted by the opposition, saying they were necessary to avoid the country descending into chaos.

The election, fought between five candidates closely associated with Bouteflika, was won by a former civil servant, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who was dubbed as the “chosen one” on social media for being seen as close to the army chief. (BBC)

 

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