11 Mauritanian parties want poll delay
Nouakchott – Eleven Mauritanian opposition parties have called for October legislative and municipal elections to be delayed over a lack of transparency in how they were being organised.
The parties, which form part of the 13-party Co-ordination of Democratic Opposition (COD), asked for election preparations to be cancelled as they were taking place without consultations with the opposition.
“And we demand the postponement of the elections,” the parties said in a joint communique.
The two parties who did not sign the statement had also previously asked for a delay during a meeting with Prime Minister Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf on August 17.
According to the statement, the parties demand “a preliminary agreement between all parties on the conditions under which reliable elections should be held”.
The country’s opposition parties have criticised “the absence of electoral lists established on a scientific basis, a reliable registry office and independent electoral commission”.
Reforms have yet to take place after President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz took power in a 2008 coup, and was later elected in 2009 elections, during which the opposition alleged fraud.
The president and opposition parties have been unable to agree on a framework for political dialogue which is meant to address issues on the electoral code, electoral lists, media access, national unity and the political role of the army.
The first rounds of municipal and legislative elections are scheduled for October 16.