Mauritania: President Ould Abdel Aziz Denies any Attempt to Stay in Power
The Mauritanian President last week indicated he never planned to change the constitution to be able to run again for elections at the end of his current mandate ending in 2019, reports say.
Tension has risen since March between the opposition and the ruling party after some ministers and lawmakers suggested change of the constitution so that President Ould Abdel Aziz stands again in 2019.
Speaking in an interview with some international media, President Aziz denied harboring any such a wish.
“I have never at any moment said that I would modify the constitution to run again. I took two oaths to respect it. They are stronger than what I will say in the future,” he said.
His remarks come at the time the ruling party and the opposition want to renew dialogue in a bid to end the political standoff.
The ruling party argued that after the President’s comments, the opposition has no reason to refuse to participate in the dialogue.
The opposition has accused the regime of autocracy and violation of the democratic values gained since independence.
Former army general Ould Abdel Aziz came to power following a military coup in 2008 which toppled former President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.
He won elections and became President in 2009 after he headed the High Council of State which he established after deposing President Abdallahi. He was re-elected in August 2014 for another five-year term.