Mauritania: President Wants Suppression of Senate

Mauritania: President Wants Suppression of Senate

President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania Tuesday proposed the suppression of the Senate, which, he said, obstructs laws adoption.

He called for a national referendum to decide over the move while giving three to four weeks to opposition parties to decide whether they will take part in the vote.

“We are calling on the entire political class to attend a dialogue on that issue (suppression the Senate,) which will be subject to a constitutional referendum,” he said, without disclosing any date for the vote.

Speaking at a rally in the town of Nema (1,200 km, east of capital Nouakchott) President Abdel Aziz indicated that the 58-member senate uselessly prolongs law adoption procedures. He suggested that regional councils to be made up of locals would replace the legislature. The councils will ensure the economic and social development of their regions.

The current senate, sitting since 2010, is largely made up of members of the ruling party. Its mandate has reportedly come to expiration.

The Mauritanian leader did not spell out his desire to run for new elections in 2019, end of his current and final mandate.

Though he recently announced to sidestep at the end of his current tenure, some members of his cabinet and top officials of his party called for a constitutional change allowing him to run again in 2019. He has not made any comment yet on the call.

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