(AFP) – Aug 31, 2008
NOUAKCHOTT (AFP) — Mauritania's junta in power since an August 6 coup d'etat announced early Monday the "formation of a government," state television reported.
A statement issued by the presidency of the state council said a 22-minister government headed by Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf had been formed, with effect from Sunday.
Most of the ministers were backers of the coup, whether affiliated with political parties or independents.
At least three of the ministers belonged to the Union of Democratic Forces (RFD), the second party in the national assembly, headed by Ahmed Ould Daddah. But the party immediately issued a statement saying they should be considered as having "automatically resigned."
The RFD said on August 25 it would not take part in the next government as no guarantees had been given on the length of a transition period and the ineligibility of a member of the armed forces to stand as president.
The foreign minister's portfolio went to Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, a former professor of political science at Harvard University in the United States.
The ministers of defence and justice, Mohammed Mahmoud Ould Mohamed Lemine and Ahmedou Tidjane Bal, kept their portfolios.
After ousting Mauritania's first democratically-elected president, the junta leader, General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, formed a state council comprised of 11 military officials and promised to hold elections quickly.
While the coup has been almost universally condemned by the international community, two-thirds of Mauritania's deputies and senators have supported it.
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