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Mauritania junta leader says he'll resign before April 22

Video by Sophie DAVIDSON

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-04-09

Mauritania's junta leader, General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, told FRANCE 24 that he would resign before April 22 and confirmed that a presidential election would take place as planned on June 6.

The leader of the junta ruling the west African state of Mauritania told FRANCE 24 he would resign before April 22 and confirmed that a presidential election will take place as planned on June 6, contradicting rumours of a postponement.

 

"I will resign, if God wills, before April 22. Elections set for June 6 will not be postponed. 90% of Mauritanians want these elections, it is the choice of the people," General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz said during an interview on Wednesday.

Mauritania's government had earlier announced the creation of the commission to organise and monitor a presidential election after the military coup.


The junta that ousted the west African country's first democratically elected leader Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi in August had pledged to hold a poll within 10 months, setting June 6 as the date.

But there have been persistent rumours, relayed by the media, in recent days that the vote might be postponed to give mediators a chance to persuade opposition parties to drop their boycott and take part.

Newspapers have spoken of a "French intervention" and of Senegalese mediation to restore dialogue between the chief political actors.

The new CENI will be led by a university academic and human rights activist, Cheikh Saadbouh Camara, who headed the last electoral panel during a transition to democracy between 2005 and 2007.

The consultations preceding the creation of the commission were boycotted by the National Front for the Defence of Democracy (FNDD), a coalition of parties opposed to the coup, and by the party of opposition leader Ahmed Ould Daddah.

Both rejected the electoral calendar fixed by the junta. They also object to the military leader being on the ballot. They say he has been campaigning across the mainly desert nation for months.

Date created : 2009-04-09

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