(AFP) – Aug 13, 2008
NOUAKCHOTT (AFP) — Coup leader General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on Wednesday held talks with Mauritanian political parties to form a new government amid fresh international condemnation of the putsch.
Ould Abdel Aziz, who led a group of generals in a bloodless coup on August 6, was meeting the leaders of several political parties from late Tuesday, including some who had opposed the putsch, they said.
Ousted president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi had been the west African country's first democratically-elected head of state.
The international community has unanimously condemned the coup and on Wednesday the European Union warned that Mauritania faced isolation.
The EU's French presidency said the bloc wanted a return to the pre-coup situation and the old government restored.
Neighbouring Algeria joined the international chorus of condemnation for the coup on Wednesday calling for "a restoration of constitutional order".
The Algerian foreign ministry issued the statement after a meeting with a special envoy of the Mauritanian junta, General Mohamed Ould Cheikh Mohamed Ahmed.
The Mauritanian delegation, which also included foreign minister Abdallah Ould Benhmida, came to Algiers with a special message for Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who refused to meet them.
In Nouakchott meanwhile, one of the parties approached by the junta already said it had turned down an offer to participate in a new government.
But the Popular Progressive Alliance (APP) of Messoud Ould Boulkheir, the speaker of Mauritania's national assembly, continues to back president Abdallahi.
On Sunday, Ould Boulkheir, whose APP party has five deputies in the 95-seat assembly and held three minister's posts in Abdallahi's government, pledged his full support to the deposed president.
Parties such as opposition RDF, which supported the coup, said they would "study the offer" made by the new military leadership after their leaders met Abdel Aziz
RDF leader Ahmed Ould Daddah on Tuesday described the military's actions "a movement to rectify the democratic process" and not a coup, in comments to the Al Jazeera network Tuesday.
The the 2007 elections, which were hailed internationally as a model of democracy for Africa, had been "marked by fraud", he added.
Observers in Mauritania said the junta was likely to take a long time to form a new government so as to accommodate all those parties who supported the coup.
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