See also:
» 23.02.2010 - Mauritania recalls ambassador over release of rebels
» 15.02.2010 - Police chief sentenced to 7 years
» 26.01.2010 - Mauritania hailed for cutting ties with Israel
» 13.01.2010 - Italy to enhance security cooperation
» 10.11.2009 - Mauritanian grassroots groups receive US funding
» 05.10.2009 - Mauritania gets $12 million to boost food production and lower imports
» 20.07.2009 - Abdelaziz wins elections, opposition claim irregularities
» 05.06.2009 - Mauritania's democracy deal hailed

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Politics | Economy - Development

Oil revenue row in Mauritania

afrol News, 25 June - Mauritanian Prime Minister Yahya Ould Ahmed El Waghef has accused the country's opposition leader Ahmed Ould Daddah of "misleading the public opinion." Mr Daddah publicly claimed government had spent 90 percent of oil revenues, urging the government to step down only one month after it was formed.

The Mauritanian government chief expressed his great discomfort, warning that "the age of insults has now finished for good." PM El Waghef declared that "the amount of revenues from oil is steadily increasing and they cannot be spent without prior approval from parliament. And it is not appropriate for a great leader to cause damage on the reputation of his country," he added, referring to Mr Ould Daddah.

"In a democratic country, it is not normal to demand the resignation of a government that is support by 70 percent of MPs, and this only one month after it was formed," the angry Prime Minister said.

The Union of Democratic Forces (RFD), being the main opposition party in Mauritania with 17 MPs in the Nouakchott parliament, recently repeated the accusations of its leader in an interview with the broadcaster 'Al Jazeera'. Further, in a declaration forwarded to afrol News, the party said that "the Prime Minister has asked the opposition to closely monitor the enormous errors of the government."

"The Prime Minister does not recognize any damages to the country's reputation made by practices of poor governance, by the mismanagement of public funds, or by the repeated failures to deliver on all development plans and programmes, but only views [damages to Mauritania's reputation] when the democratic opposition exercises its normal plight towards the people and nation," the declaration goes on.

The RDF again maintains that "more than 90 percent of petroleum revenues are being spent without leading to any positive effect on the livelihood of Mauritanian citizens."

The principal opposition party launches this strong criticism despite calls by the Prime Minister for the opposition to act "with responsibility." PM El Waghef further emphasized his "respect for the opposition" and its role.

Since the democratic election of current President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi in March 2007, Mauritania has not experienced any more highly profiled political controversy.

Local observers have expressed great concern over the controversy, holding that the strong-worded discussion between the opposition and the parliamentary majority indicate there is an "unprecedented crisis of confidence" among Mauritanian politicians. Other Mauritanian analysts however hold the row is only a "normal" discussion in democratic societies, which the country's electorate will get used to sooner or later.

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