Algeria's army chief has withdrawn support for embattled president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Ahmed Gaid Salah, a long-time ally, has called for his dismissal under a part of the constitution that allows for a head of state to be removed if they are seriously unwell and unable to carry out their functions.
Bouteflika had a stroke five years ago and is rarely seen in public.
He dropped plans to run for a fifth presidential term in the face of widespread protests.
But he remained in office and demonstrations have resumed.
Gaid Salah, speaking on Tuesday, praised the maturity of Algerians and their peaceful protests.
“In order to protect our country from any hazardous situation, everybody needs to show selflessness and to take into consideration the higher interests of our home country in order to find an immediate solution to this crisis,” he said.
“A solution in accordance to the constitution that is the only guarantee of a stable situation.
“In this regard, we urge and have to adopt a solution that guarantees a crisis exit and responds to the legitimate demands of the Algerian people.