- The party of Mauritania's June 2003 coup leader has announced its adherence to the principles of the ruling military high council led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
In a statement, Salal Ould Hanenna's Party for Union and Change in Mauritania [HATEM] declared "our adherence and readiness to take part in the running and management of the next phase."
Mr. Hanenna was arrested, tried and sentenced to life in prison for masterminding a foiled coup attempt against Mauritania's deposed President Maouya Ould Taya who ruled from 1984 to 2005.
Hanenna was pardoned by a military junta that dislodged the former dictator from power in August 2005.
In early August, renegade soldiers toppled Mauritania's first democratically elected Presdient from power after he had sacked four top military officials. President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi has since remained under custody.
An 11-member military council has been steering the affairs of the West African country, amid widespread international condemnation of the coup.
The council has been able to amass huge support from majority of lawmakers in both lower and upper house of parliaments. It has refused to obey international community's call for the restoration of constitutional order, and even went ahead to appoint the former Mauritanian ambassador to the European Union, Mohamed Ould Moulaye Laghdhaf as the Prime Minister.
So far, HATEM is the only political party that has publicly declared its participating in the transition government. The party has called on all political stakeholders to "raise above their political groups' narrow interest and assume their responsibilities in this decisive watershed."
General Aziz made his first public nation-wide televised address, justifying the coup, stressed zero tolerance on corruption and terrorism. He promised a quick return to constitutional civilian rule, but failed to give a specific date for presidential polls.
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