- The leader of Mauritania's military junta has assured his commitment to organise "free and transparent elections as soon as possible."
In his first radio and television broadcast on Sunday, General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz said, "I commit myself before you and before God the almighty that I will organise free and transparent elections as soon as possible."
The general, who led renegade soldiers to overthrow the democratically elected regime of President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi on 6 August, failed to give a specific date for elections.
Mr. Aziz has been leading an 11-member military council. On Thursday, he appointed Mauritania's former ambassador to the European Union as Prime Minister to lead a transitional government.
The appointment of Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf might have been a calculated attempt by the junta to douse off international condemnation of the bloodless coup.
General Aziz had earlier promised to appoint a government before orgnising presidential polls, and has since invited political parties for talks on the formation of a new government.
The European Union and African Union condemned the coup in totality, and urged the junta to restore constitutional order.
However, majority of the West African country's senate and the lower house members supported the move. They said coup was effected "in the interest of the Mauritanian people" because it had nailed "an acute political and institutional crisis" caused the ousted leader.
General Aziz also blamed the ousted leader of tolerating a "climate of corruption" characterised by "miserable economic performance." He vowed to take tough action on terrorism and organised crimes in the country.
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