See also:
» 20.07.2009 - Abdelaziz wins elections, opposition claim irregularities
» 05.06.2009 - Mauritania's democracy deal hailed
» 03.06.2009 - Mauritania election compromise reached
» 28.05.2009 - Mauritanian parties at the negotiations table
» 20.05.2009 - Thousands demand Junta to scrap elections
» 14.05.2009 - Mauritania editor narrowly escapes death
» 17.04.2009 - Mauritania's former ruling party: abort electoral process
» 06.04.2009 - EU suspends cooperation with Mauritania for 2 years

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Mediators push for later elections in Mauritania

afrol News, 2 June - A panel of mediators in Dakar have proposed Mauritania's presidential elections slated for 6 June to be postponed to 18 July. The talks which opened in Senegal last week seek to find the common ground for the ruling junta that took power in August 2008 and parties opposing the coup.

Mauritanian opposition parties have refused to take part in the 6 June vote vowing to boycott them, saying the elections outcomes were pre-determined. The opposition parties said elections called by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz were a sham to legitimise his unconstitutional grip on power, demanding the reinstatement of the country's democratically elected President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.

Mauritania has been rocked by political instability since the military junta led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz ousted the country's first democratically elected president in August last year.

General Ould Abdel Aziz, who was nominated by his junta to contest the polls, has since stepped down to run for president in the June polls.

President Sidi Ould Cheikh 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.

During the short democratic rule, Mauritania was developing into a model country in the Arab world when it came to respecting human rights and developing true democratic standards. Mauritania's press experienced a revolution of liberty and even historically discriminated groups such as slaves and non-Arabs were given freedom.

However, since the junta took power in the bloodless coup, Mauritanians have lost their newfound freedom and authoritarian rule is reinstated. The country 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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