What’s Fueling Debate Over Proposed Constitutional Reforms in Mauritania

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz speaks during the India-Africa Forum Summit, New Delhi, India, Oct. 29, 2015 (AP photo by Bernat Armangue).
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz speaks during the India-Africa Forum Summit, New Delhi, India, Oct. 29, 2015 (AP photo by Bernat Armangue).

Earlier this month, Mauritania announced it would delay a constitutional referendum planned for mid-July, rescheduling it for Aug. 5. Among the most significant changes included in the proposed reforms would be the elimination of the country’s Senate, a proposition that has predictably spurred opposition from senators. The delay risks increasing political tension amid speculation about President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz’s plans for when his term expires in 2019. In an email interview, Imad Mesdoua, senior consultant at Control Risks and a specialist on North Africa and West Africa, describes the substance of the referendum and reactions from across the political […]

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