A majority Mauritania's MPs have declared their support to last week's coup, which led to the arrest of the country's first democratically elected president. The new military rulers vowed to hold elections as soon as possible.
General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who ousted the country's first democratically elected leader, was rebuffed by
A "High State Council" led by Abdel Aziz has issued a decree mandating it to appoint a government pending elections which are to be held "as soon as possible" to replace ousted President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, who has been arrested.
In the clearest indication of support yet, 40 out of
Senate Vice-President Mohsen El Hadj said the coup would provide "space for dialogue" and he was happy with the decree.
Abdel Aziz met opposition leader Ahmed Ould Daddah ahead of planned meetings with some smaller parties on Wednesday.
After the meeting on Tuesday Ould Daddah said nothing publicly about the likely composition of a new government to lead
Ould Daddah lost a January 2007 presidential run-off vote and, like many parliamentarians who quit Abdallahi's party two days before the coup, has supported the army takeover.
However, some minor opposition parties have united against the coup and are reluctant to join a military-led government in
"We are ready to talk to the State Council about the country's political crisis, but not about us being part of the future government," said Mohamed Ould Maouloud of the Union of Forces for Progress (UFP), one of the parties.
He said El Khalil Ould Tiyeb, vice-president of the Popular Progressive Alliance (APP), another anti-coup party, had met Abdel Aziz but also rejected an offer to join the government.
Several dozen women protested against the junta in the capital
The African Union, the United Nations and the European Union have condemned the coup and demanded Abdallahi's release. The
Abdel Aziz has dispatched delegations to key African and Arab states in an apparent bid to soothe international worries.
The Algerian position echoes that of fellow north African states
However Morocco, Algeria's main regional rival, appeared to indirectly endorse the coup when King Mohammed dispatched his top aide, foreign intelligence service chief Yassine Mansouri, to meet the new Mauritanian leadership in Nouakchott on Tuesday.
As well as promising elections, Abdel Aziz has pledged to crack down harder on al Qaeda militants operating in the region.
Date created : 2008-08-14