(AFP) – Jul 3, 2008
NOUAKCHOTT (AFP) — Mauritania's seven-week-old government resigned Thursday, pre-empting a censure motion filed by ruling party rebels, but Prime Minister Yahya Ould Ahmed Waghf was immediately reappointed.
A decree issued to that effect by President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi was read on state broadcasting media, while government sources said the prime minister would immediately begin consultations on forming a new team.
Earlier Ould Ahmed Waghf told reporters he had met the president "with whom I made a personal assessment of the current situation in the country, and as a result I offered my resignation to preserve the cohesion of the majority which supports his programme," he said.
He described as "very serious" the dissensions within the ruling National Pact for Democracy and Development (PNDD) which he heads and the rest of the parliamentary majority.
The president had threatened Wednesday to dissolve parliament after the vote of no confidence by 39 deputies, most of them from the ruling party, was filed on Monday.
The deputies had accused the government of failing to produce the required economic and social policy programme.
They also questioned the share of government posts for opposition Islamist and centre-left parties, as well as officials from the former regime ousted by the military in 2005.
The parliament had been scheduled to deliberate on Thursday when the no-confidence motion should be put to a vote.
"Our responsibilities oblige us to make sacrifices to preserve the majority tasked with implementing the presidential programme," Ould Ahmed Waghf said.
He called for the president's supporters to unite and the PNDD to engage in dialogue to heal its splits.
Ould Ahmed Waghf, 48, took over on May 6 from Zeine Ould Zeidane, who had resigned after a year in office marked by a food crisis and deadly attacks from extremist groups.
Sources said Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, who was elected after the military handed back power to civilians, was anxious to avoid costly new elections in the impoverished north African country.
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