(AFP) – Aug 21, 2008
NOUAKCHOTT (AFP) — Mauritanian Prime Minister Yahya Ould Ahmed Waghf, forced out in a military coup on August 6, was re-arrested Thursday, political parties who support the ousted regime said.
He was arrested in the northern town of Nouadhibou on his way to a political meeting, said the Front for the Defence of Democracy, a coalition of four political parties who continue to support the ousted government.
"Security forces arrested him when he tried to enter Nouadhibou and turned him over to the police who are bringing him to the capital now," said El Hassan Ould Keihil, a spokesmen for the Front, told AFP.
The prime minister was arrested after the coup but released on August 11 by the new military junta led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
The reasons for the latest arrest of the prime minister are not known.
It comes after Ould Ahmed Waghf told Abu Dhabi TV on Wednesday the president had tried to fire the generals after learning they were "preparing a coup to be carried out on August 9."
The ousted prime minister last week said he would not recognise the nomination by the junta of former diplomat Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghaf as his replacement and would not willingly hand over his post.
The ousted president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi is still being detained by the authorities, under house arrest in a villa on the grounds of the Nouakchott congress centre.
On Wednesday the Mauritanian parliament started a month-long special session led by a majority of 107 of the total of 151 deputies who support the coup.
The session was officially called to discuss "the reasons for the blockage of democratic institutions" which led to what the general's supporters are calling "the change" of August 6.
However the pro-coup deputies have said they will use the session to name eight members to a special high court of justice, which could decide to put Ould Cheikh Abdallahi on trial.
At the opening of the special session the deputy speaker of the lower house El Arby Ould Jidein, a former army chief of staff, praised the junta and said he "paid homage to the action of the armed forces," meaning the coup.
The speaker of the house, a pro-Abdallahi deputy was absent during the special session. In all, some 30 deputies, members of the lower house and senators, boycotted the session.
The coup on August 6 was almost universally condemned by the international community.
On Tuesday, the UN Security Council adopted a non-binding statement condemning the coup and demanding the president's immediate release and the immediate "restoration of the legitimate, constitutional, democratic institutions."
Ould Abdel Aziz has promised quick and transparent elections and has moved forward with forming a new government with the support of a majority of parliament.
Ould Cheikh Abdallahi's 15 months in office coincided with the food crisis, rising security concerns and social unrest in Mauritania, an impoverished desert country of 3 million inhabitants whose main resources are fisheries and iron ore.
On Sunday, the new military leadership promised again that "all of the countries problems will be resolved," including corruption and the deterioration of the standard of living.
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