President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz will not rule Mauritania beyond 2019, end of his current tenure, Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid, President of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA) has told sympathizers.
Mauritania has been embroiled in a political crisis after it became clear that President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz wanted to expand his rule on the country.
Mauritania is holding a referendum on constitutional reform on August 5 which the opposition and analysts say rolls out the red carpet for a constitutional medication allowing the President to extend his stay in power.
President Abdel Aziz will end his second 5-year term in 2019. He won the presidential seat for the second time in contested elections in 2014.
The opposition has called for boycott of the referendum, claiming it violates the constitution.
Birame ould Dah ould Abeïd, a presidential candidate in the 2014 elections, and his movement have been opposed to the Mauritanian regime, which they accuse of prolonging slavery in the North African country.
Mauritania abolished slavery in 1981 but the movement says the phenomenon is still practiced and condoned by the regime.
The IRA President has joined the opposition, calling for the boycott of the referendum.