Mauritania's toppled civilian president has formally resigned as a part
of a power-sharing deal with the nation's military rulers.
eleven months after he was toppled in a military coup, Mauritanian
President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi resigned as part of a
regionally-brokered power-sharing deal.
Mr. Abdallahi says he is
setting Mauritania on the path of democracy and social harmony by being
the first president to resign willingly from office in return for
guarantees related to the interests of the nation.
was overthrown last August in a military coup led by General Mohamed
Ould Abdel Aziz who has since resigned his military commission to run
for president in elections scheduled for next month.
Abdallahi supporters shouted at each other outside the conference
center where the civilian president stepped down, but there was no
His resignation clears the way for the establishment
of an interim government of national unity to lead the country until
the next vote.
General Aziz nominates the prime minister of that
government along with 14 other ministers. The remaining 15 ministries -
including Interior, Finance, and Information - will be divided between
the National Front for the Defense of Democracy - which supports
Abdallahi - and the rival opposition Assembly of Democratic Forces.
power-sharing deal was negotiated in neighboring Senegal in talks
backed by the African Union, the Arab League, the European Union, the
Francophonie, and the United Nations.
But it was delayed for
weeks over disagreement about the ruling military council that was
established after last August's coup. General Aziz wanted that council
to remain in place until the vote. Mr. Abdallahi refused to resign if
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade brokered a
compromise. The council will remain, but under the authority of the
interim civilian Interior Ministry.