Leading Algerian businessman Ali Haddad, a backer of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, resigned as head of the country’s FCE business forum, the website of Ennahar TV said on Thursday.

The website quoted Haddad as saying, in a resignation letter dated on March 28, he had “decided, in my conscience and without constraint, to leave the chairmanship of the Business Leaders Forum from now on.”

He described himself as “anxious to preserve the coherence and especially the sustainability of our organization.”

The resignation is another blow to Bouteflika’s shrinking inner circle. Bouteflika is under huge pressure to resign after the army called for his removal and allies deserted him.