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Mauritania: Opposition calls for ‘popular uprising’

Mauritanian opposition describes Ould Abdel Aziz’s rule as 'a real ordeal'

12.11.2017
Mauritania: Opposition calls for ‘popular uprising’

By Mohamed al-Bakay

NOUAKCHOTT

Mauritanian opposition parties on Sunday called for a “popular uprising” against President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, describing his regime as "authoritarian”.

In a joint statement, the opposition parties said they would stage street rallies during a popular festival on Nov. 25. in order “to reject the regime of hunger, thirst, oppression and looting”.

The statement -- which was signed by a host of opposition parties, including the National Forum for Democracy and Unity, Mauritania's largest opposition coalition -- went on to describe Ould Abdel Aziz’s rule as “a real ordeal for the country”.

There was no comment from the Mauritanian Presidency on the opposition’s accusations.

For the past two days, opposition parties have held rallies to pressure Ould Abdel Aziz not to run for a third term.

Although the Mauritanian leader has announced that he would not run for a third term and would leave power in mid-2019, opposition parties believe he plans to remain in power.

In August, Mauritania held a controversial referendum on several proposed constitutional amendments, including one calling for the dissolution of the Mauritanian senate.

Despite opposition claims that the poll had been rigged, the senate -- the upper house of Mauritania’s bicameral parliament -- was dissolved shortly afterward in a move that drew condemnation from the country’s opposition.

Ould Abdel Aziz seized power in a 2008 military coup. One year later, he won a presidential election, the integrity of which has been questioned by critics.

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