Algeria's powerful army chief wants to trigger the constitutional process that would declare ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika unfit for office.

After more a month of mass protests against Bouteflika's long rule, army chief of staff Ahmed Gaïd Salah said Tuesday in remarks carried on Algerian television that the solution to the political crisis is to apply Article 102 of the Algerian Constitution.

Under that article, the Constitutional Council could determine that the president is too ill to fully exercise his functions, and ask the parliament to declare him unfit. The 82-year-old Bouteflika has barely been seen in public since a 2013 stroke.

The army chief is among the top power brokers in Algeria, and his announcement could pave the way for Bouteflika's ouster.