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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Thousands demand Junta to scrap elections

afrol News, 20 May - Thousands of Mauritanians have marched in the capital Nouakchott in protest against elections slated for 6 June and demanding the ruling junta to scrap the elections.

The protesters who opposed the 6 August military coup that ousted President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi who was democratically elected in 2007 have vowed to boycott the election saying its results are predetermined.

The march organised by the National Front for the Defence of the Democracy (FNDD) and the Rally for Democratic Forces (RFD) has also demanded the ruling junta to reinstate the ousted president and restore constitutional rule.

In April, the ousted FNDD demanded an end to the electoral process that would lead to Mauritania's controversial presidential polls, saying all initiatives aimed at resolving the country's crisis must ensure that the country's junta is stopped from the execution of its electoral agenda.

The FNDD also reaffirmed its refusal to legalise the coup and stressed its attachment to an all-inclusive national dialogue under the auspices of the international community.

The protest is reportedly the biggest since the August coup in the country just two weeks before the elections.

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and African Union Commission chief Jean Ping have been trying to mediate a possible solution to the crisis in Mauritania. But, they have so far failed to persuade the ruling junta to delay the election and so avoid the opposition boycott, say diplomats.

Mr Abdallahi who was elected president in 2007, becoming the first democratically elected president since the country gained independence in 1960, served for 15 months before the coup by a group of generals led by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

Since the junta took power in the bloodless coup, Mauritania has been slapped with a number of sanctions from both the European Union and the African Union demanding restoration of democratic rule.

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