Mauritania opposition demand president resign
Posted Saturday, August 4 2012 at 18:33
A 10-party opposition bloc in Mauritania on Saturday signed a charter rejecting any solution to the country's political crisis that does not involve President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz' departure.
The Coordination of Democratic Opposition (COD) also refused to take part in any election in which "transparency is not guaranteed."
Legislative and municipal elections planned for 2011 were postponed and are meant to take place at the end of 2012.
The COD says there is a political crisis in the country, and has held weekly sit-ins, marches and protests since May to demand that Abdel Aziz step down, refusing all dialogue.
The opposition accuses the former general of despotism and mismanagement and having failed to heed commitments made in the Dakar accords that led to his election in 2009, a year after he seized power in a coup d'etat.
The president's mandate expires in 2014.
The opposition wants a transition government to take over from Abdel Aziz and find a way out of the crisis, dealing with issues such as unemployment, slavery and attacks on human rights.
The charter also criticises Abdel Aziz for attacks launched against Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) bases in neighbouring Mali by the Mauritanian army, saying it was a "war lost from the start."
With AQIM now behind armed Islamist groups who have seized the north of Mali, this "constitutes a threat to the country," it said.
The signing of the charter comes two days before Ould Aziz holds his annual "meeting with the people" to celebrate his inauguration as president in 2009.