Junta leaders promise free elections in Mauritania

Other News Materials 7 August 2008 09:29 (UTC +04:00)
Junta leaders promise free elections in   Mauritania

(dpa) - The military junta that seized power in the north-western African nation of Mauritania promised "free and transparent" presidential elections Thursday, a day after its coup.

A date for the elections was not mentioned in a junta statement carried by the Mauritanian press agency AMI.

A "state council" under the leadership of presidential guard commander Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz seized power Wednesday after the arrests of President Sidi Ould Cheikh and Prime Minister Yahya Ould Ahmed Waghf.

The coup came after the president sacked top military officers.

Internationally, the bloodless coup was ill-received with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling for the immediate restoration of constitutional order.

The Arab League called on the parties to solve their political conflicts with a democratic dialogue while the United States and African Union condemned the coup.

The European Union said the putsch could jeopardize up to 242 million dollars of aid pledged to the country.