- Mauritania will soon enjoy the fruits of democracy after conducting a free, fair and smooth elections on 19 November and 3 December. The parliamentarians' assembly of French-speaking countries (APF) in Paris is at the brink of lifting suspension on the country.
The APF suspended Mauritania in August 2005 following a military coup that dislodged President Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya from power.
But now that the military rulers have clearly demonstrated that democracy and rule of law are guaranteed in the country, APF was left with no option other than accepting Mauritania to return into the body. In a statement, APF assured it was to renew Mauritania's membership in the body as early as the next general assembly, which is scheduled for July 2007 in Gabon.
"APF considers that these elections were free and fair and that they constitute a crucial stage towards the return to constitutional legality," read a statement by the body, which includes MPs from France and its ex-colonies.
Mauritania's parliamentary elections were endorsed by international observers as transparent, fair and free and the results were said to represent the wishes of electorate. After two rounds of voting, the Coalition Forces for Democratic Change, which entails 11 parties, polled 41 of the entire 95 parliamentary seats.
Mauritania was ruled by an authoritarian leader who was accused of trampling on the rights of his opponents and activists. Ex-President Ould Taya was a soldier who forced his way to power. He was overthrown when he went to Mecca to attend the burial of Saudi Arabia's King Fahad. Mr Ould Taya and family sought refuge in The Gambia before they finally departed for Qatar.
The military junta that has ruled Mauritania since the August 2005 coup has all the time declared and maintained its dedication to true democracy in Mauritania. Very soon after taking over, military leader Colonel Ely Ould Mohamed Vall embarked on pro-democracy and pro-human rights reforms. The press was given total freedom, political prisoners were freed and political parties were free to establish - all in an environment of national dialogue with any interested party.
The clearest symbol of interim President Vall's democratic intentions has been his ban on members of the ruling junta's possibility to stand for election during the current democratisation process. Colonel Vall himself as consequence will not be a candidate during the presidential polls in March next year.
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