• Reports
  • September 18, 2008
  • 7 minutes read

Arab Intellectuals Call for Retaining Democratic Institutions in Mauritania

Arab Intellectuals Call for Retaining Democratic Institutions in Mauritania

Scores of the Arab intellectuals, journalists, and rights activists have launched an initiative advocating Mauritanian democracy. The initiative was declared through their signed statement on Tuesday September 16, 2008.

The signatories condemned the military coup that took place in Mauritania and said it represents drastic dangers in the country. Such a coup ousted the democratically elected president Sayedi Ould Al-Sheikh Abdullah. The statement said Mauritania can enjoy peaceful transfer of power from the military figures whose basic mission is to defend the country’s borders against any external violation rather than going through politics.

“That’s why we have all welcomed the decision passed by the military council ending the autocratic regime of former president Muaweya Weld Taye on August 3rd 2005 when the military council chief pledged to hold elections in March 2007 in which he would not be a candidate,” the statement added.

In fact, the democratic elections were held in due time in a very distinct way except for slight defects due to the social make-up and modern experience.

The statement discussed the social and economic difficulties faced by Mauritania during the last two years. However, no one has the right to oust the regime or stop such progressive experience with the Arab association nature; they should have waited for the people to constitutionally decide on those in charge in the legal due time.

The statement said that the democratic peaceful power transfer in Mauritania has been constructive and liberal without engagement in any kind of retaliation or new despotism. It ran through intensive consultations to include the civil society and political trends in reaching the promising democratic process that began by power transfer to the peoples’ representatives without protests or doubts against the declared election results.

The democratic process made the Arab people who suffer from the stagnated autocratic regimes aspire for and believe in change in which the army shares responsibility with the people against despotic rulers oppressing the peoples for decades. “We hope this path would be the practical capability of reconciliation and reform within the Arab nation. Nevertheless, the recent Mauritanian coup diminished such hopes and violated the people’s dignity letting them suffer from frustration and lack of fair legitimate rulers through peaceful means,” the statement added.

The signatories said that the Arab democrats have had their ideas crushed in this coup that cancelled the people’s choice by the power of tanks. “Struggle against despotism will go on. We have to back this principle at the Mauritanian front, especially with the persistent Mauritanian people and political parties that vowed to continue struggle for legitimacy and sovereignty of the people”, they added.

The signatories condemned the military interference in political life and called on all NGOs and civil societies not to acknowledge the unconstitutional procedures. They united with the African Union, UN, Arab League, and EU in calling for the release of the ousted president and with democratic Mauritanian resistance through forming a follow-up committee of the Arab democrats supporting the peaceful struggle till the Mauritanian are capable of restoring their rights and dignity.