Mauritania elections postponed

Dakar talks produce new agreement that delays presidential elections in Mauritania.

    Thousands of Mauritanians cheered the signing of the agreement to postpone presidential elections [AFP]

    Six days of intensive negotiations aimed at resolving Mauritania's political crisis began at a seaside hotel in Dakar, Senegal's capital, on Thursday.

    The talks were organised by an international group of mediators, including officials from the African Union, the European Union, the United Nations and the Arab League among others.

    Electoral process

    Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, Mauritania's first democratically elected president, was toppled in a coup in August 2008.

    Abdallahi's ouster was spearheaded by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who's decision to give up power in last April constitutionally allowed him to run in the elections that were meant to return civilian rule to Mauritania.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of Abdallahi's supporters gathered at the airport in Nouakchott, Mauritania's capital, to cheer delegations arriving from the Dakar talks hailing the agreement as a good move.

    Opposition parties initially rejected the elections, saying it was being organised without their consent.

    Their absence would have given Aziz almost certain victory, but deprived his win of any credibility.

    According to the agreement, Aziz would have the right to appoint the prime minister and half the ministers, and rival parties the rest.

    If no candidate wins a majority of votes in July's election, a second round will be held August 1.

    The African Union suspended Mauritania from membership and has imposed travel bans and asset freezes on officials involved in the coup.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.