Mauritania legislators elected to court trying deposed president

[JURIST] The Mauritanian Parliament has elected eight of its members to a High Court set to try deposed President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi [BBC profile] on corruption charges. Legislators chose [press release, in Arabic] four National Assembly members and four senators by secret ballot during a public session on Tuesday. The US State Department has stated it only recognizes Abdallahi's government [statement text], and the US Embassy [official website] in Nouakchott on Monday refused to recognize Mauritania's new regime [press release; AFP report], adding that the US is "actively exploring potential travel and financial sanctions against military and civilian individuals participating in, or enabling, an illegal and non-democratic government." AP has more. Le Calame has additional coverage, in French.

Abdallahi has been detained since his government was overthrown on August 6 in a military coup led by Gen. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who was later named head of state [JURIST reports]. On Tuesday, Aziz convened the regime's Cabinet for the first time following its appointment [press releases, in Arabic; AFP report]. Aziz's coup is the second in Mauritania [official website; CIA backgrounder; JURIST news archive] since 2005, when Aziz backed the removal [JURIST report] of then-President Maaoya Sid'Ahmed Taya [BBC report]. At one time, Aziz supported Abdallahi, but the two split after Abdallahi made political concessions to conservative Muslim groups.

 

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