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10 Feb 2009 10:59
The Mauritanian deputy speaker of Parliament, which in majority supports the ruling junta, called on Monday for more “understanding” following African Union sanctions against the country.
“We ask our partners to show more understanding of the situation in our country and to help us realise our people’s well-being,” deputy speaker Elarbi Ould Jedein told a special opening session of Parliament.
The session was boycotted by parties who oppose the junta that overthrew the government and seized power in Mauritania last August.
Parliament speaker Messaoud Ould Boulkheir, who opposed the coup, boycotted the session, which was called to push through constitutional changes that will make it more difficult for candidates to participate in presidential elections.
The AU slapped sanctions on members of the junta last week, including a travel ban and a freeze of bank assets.
The junta announced last month it would hold new presidential elections on June 6 after holding a forum that was boycotted by anti-coup parties.—Sapa-AFP
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