Mauritania’s Muslim Brotherhood Backs Ould Hanena

Mauritania’s Moderate Reformists (Muslim Brotherhood) declared their support to the presidential candidate, Saleh Ould Hanena, the head of the Mauritanian Party for Union and Change (Hatem) in his presidential bid for the next elections.

Ould Hanena is considered one of the most prominent opposition figures during the era of the ousted president Maaouiya Ould Taya, as he led some coup attempts against the previous regime.

Mohamed Jemil Ould Mansour, the coordinator of the movement of Moderate Reformists, said that the reformists declared their support to Ould Hanena due to his struggle which considerably contributed to toppling the previous regime, and his many patriotic stances, including his rejection of the widespread corruption in the country and “the rejected ties with Israel”, and his preaching for freedom, support of human rights, and his calling for improving living conditions of the poor in the Mauritanian society .

Ould Mansour pointed out that Ould Hanena vowed also to stick to the option of change and reform, and to back any candidate calling for change and the reform in the country in case Ould Hanena doesn’t win a second round (run-off) in the presidential race .

Regarding the movement’s support to Ould Hanena, although he participated in previous coups, Ould Mansour said “The Islamic movement rejects use of force, but it understands that it was used to for liberation” confirming that the reformists’ decision was taken in a democratic way, after wide internal consultations and after reading the candidacy manifestoes of all candidates .

It is worth mentioning that the moderate reformists backed during the 2003 presidential elections the former president Mohamed Khona Ould Haidalla; Ould Haidalla won more than 18 % votes in these elections .

The moderate reformists achieved good results in 2006 Legislative and Municipal elections; however, Ould Mansour confirmed that the regulations organizing the election process hindered the reformists from garnering more seats; the reformists directed sharp criticisms against the Mauritanian junta due to some of its measures that negatively affect the democratic reform process although the Junta vowed to make democratic reforms after the coup that toppled the autocratic rule of Ould Taya in August 2005.

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