The spokesman of the Mauritanian government strongly criticized the terms of an interview given by the French ambassador in Nouakchott, Joel Meyer, to a local opposition weekly, in which this newspaper asked the French diplomat if he had received “guarantees” from President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz on the issue of the third mandate that has been controversial for some time in Mauritania.
The spokesman has attacked those who, he says, are betting on Paris and Washington’s support for the upcoming presidential election in 2019, warning them that “they will cry blood”. However, in the interview in question, the French ambassador responded by saying “not authorized” to talk about the elections in Mauritania, but said that President Ould Abdelaziz had already publicly pronounced on this issue of the third term and that his position was “sufficiently clear.”
Last October, the Mauritanian President had announced that he would not be re-elected, but the opposition continued to suspect him of wanting to amend the Constitution in order to bypass the law of limiting the terms of office to the post of the state Chief Magistrate. Fearing an “Algerian-style scenario”, some opposition parties are intensifying their pressure through, inter alia, a fierce media campaign, and at the same time trying to influence the most important foreign chancelleries in Nouakchott. Thus, according to the local press, the ambassadors of France and the United States have been several times received by opposition leaders concerned about the political situation in their country.
It is in this climate of widespread suspicion that the government spokesman has stepped up to claim that President Ould Abdelaziz has committed himself to the Mauritanians “and only to them”, and that he himself “does not interfere in the affairs of others “, referring in particular to France and the United States, two countries whose presence in Mauritania and the sub-Saharan region has increased significantly in recent years.
Tags : Maghreb, Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz