Mauritania’s opposition political parties and the country’s military government
are expected to Wednesday officially sign an agreement to delay the presidential
election that was been scheduled for this week.
The elections were to take
place this Saturday, but opposition parties had said they would boycott the
poll to protest the military government's election timetable.
The new agreement,
which was brokered by Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade, paves the way for opposition
parties to participate in the July 18 vote.
Mohamed Fal Sidatt is a former vice president of the
Mauritanian community in the United States and a member of the main opposition
National Front for the Defense of Democracy.
He told VOA the agreement was made possible through strong international community in put.
military had to make real compromise. They had to postpone because they already
scheduled and started their campaign almost 13 days ago...So this postponement
of this election and this compromise that has been made are clearly signs that
the international community were strong in their position that this type of
coup d’etat cannot go unpunished,” he said.
Military leader General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz toppled Sidi
Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, Mauritania's first freely elected president in
August last year.
The African Union suspended Mauritania and imposed a travel
ban on members of the military government after General Aziz ignored an AU call
to reinstate the deposed president.
said even though the African Union had imposed sanctions against the military
government, Tuesday night’s announcement of a compromise might mute some of the
requirements of the sanctions.
with this announcement, there is a commitment from the international community
that all these decisions will be avoided once the agreement is signed. And
there will be a board of members of all these international communities that
will supervise these elections,” Sidatt said.
of the conditions of the African Union sanctions was for the military
government to restore deposed Mauritania's first freely elected President Abdallahi to power.
Sidatt said as a compromise,
the new agreement requires the parties to follow Mauritania’s constitution.
“What will happen Wednesday
will be the former president will sign the agreement in official ceremony
nominating the prime minister and then officially resign. Basically they will
have to follow the constitution in that they will have to have an official
vacancy of the presidency in Mauritania in order for the new prime minister and
senate president basically to be president,” Sidatt said.