To link to this article, copy this persistent link:
http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_l205401376_text

(Jun 22, 2009) On June 4, 2009, Mauritania took a step toward a return to constitutional order and democratic rule. The country had undergone a coup d'état in 2008, when President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallah, elected in 2007, was thrown out of office by the military. On June 2, 2009, an agreement was reached in Dakar by Mauritanian political parties; the pact was formally signed by the heads of those parties in Nouakchott, Mauritania's capital, on June 4. The President of the neighboring nation Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, the Chairman of the African Union, and others assisted in the negotiation process. Praising the agreement, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said it was a "solid basis" for the return of the country to constitutional order. Mauritania's next presidential election, originally scheduled for June 6, was put off until July 18, 2009, under the agreement. (Ban Welcomes Pact Paving Way for Return to Constitutional Order, UN NEWS SERVICE, June 5, 2009, available at http://allafrica.com/stories/200906050672.html; Parties Agree on Interim Govt, Election Date, LE SOLEIL (Dakar, Senegal), June 4, 2009, available at http://allafrica.com/stories/200906040556.html.)

Between the time of the agreement and the election, Mauritania will be governed by a transitional government. Among the parties to the agreement, some felt that the transitional government should be based on the existing constitution and include a national assembly and a senate. The opposition political parties argued that a crisis-management structure should be imposed. The compromise included keeping the currently governing party in control of the prime ministerial post, but heading the ministries of the interior, of finance, and of communications with members of the opposition. (LE SOLEIL, supra.)

British Foreign Office Minister for North Africa and the Middle East, Bill Rammell, welcomed the agreement, stating that it establishes "a clear timetable for free and fair elections and the restoration of constitutional government." (Mauritania: Agreement to Return to Constitutional Government, Foreign & Commonwealth Office website, June 5, 2009, available at http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/newsroom/latest-news/?view=News&id=19057708.) In addition to scheduling the elections, as part of the agreement, the ruling party has agreed to release all political prisoners. (Id.)

Author: Constance Johnson More by this author
Topic: Constitution More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Mauritania More about this jurisdiction

Search Legal News
Find legal news by topic, country, keyword, date, or author.

Global Legal Monitor RSS
Get the Global Legal Monitor delivered to your inbox. Sign up for RSS service.

The Global Legal Monitor is an online publication from the Law Library of Congress covering legal news and developments worldwide. It is updated frequently and draws on information from the Global Legal Information Network, official national legal publications, and reliable press sources. You can find previous news by searching the GLM.

Last updated: 06/22/2009