- A Mauritanian General who led renegade soldiers to oust President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi from power last week may run in the next presidential elections.
General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who has been under intense international pressure to restore constitutional rule in the country, has ruled out setting a specific date for the presidential polls. He said the junta is working on the country's priorities and necessities the ousted regime had ignored, despite many public outcries.
The former President and Prime Minister had been held since the announcement of the Wednesday coup, and according to the junta leader, the men will remain in detention until calm has been maintained in the West African country.
Already, Mauritania is paying the price of its soldiers' action in the form of economic and political sanctions. While the United States withdraws its financial aid, the African Union suspended the country from taking part in its functions until a constitutional order is restored. In that Mauritania will be denied the voting rights in the continental body.
Military chiefs of the sub-regional economic grouping [the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)] also added their voice to condemn the coup.
In a statement, the ECOWAS Commission said the regional bloc ''received with much concern the disturbing news of the coup d'état in Mauritania against the democratically-elected government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania''.
''ECOWAS condemns the coup d'état which is totally out of step with the current democratisation process in Africa."
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