News24

Aziz refuses to resign amid protests

2012-08-06 14:02

Atar - Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz said on Monday he will not resign, despite weeks of protests by the opposition who accuse him of despotism and mismanagement.

"I have no intention of leaving power because I think that in a democracy, change must be done through the ballot box," Abdel Aziz said at a forum in the northern town of Atar celebrating the third anniversary of his inauguration.

On Saturday a 10-party opposition bloc signed a charter rejecting any solution to the country's political crisis that does not involve the president's resignation.

The Co-ordination of Democratic Opposition (COD), which has held weekly protests and sit-ins since May, also refused to take part in any election in which "transparency is not guaranteed".

Legislative and municipal elections planned for 2011 were postponed and are meant to take place at the end of 2012.

The opposition accuses the former general of having failed to respect commitments made in the Dakar accords that led to his election in 2009, a year after he seized power in a coup d’état.

"It is not the words 'get out' written on a banner or a protest in the street which will make someone leave. I was democratically elected with more than 52%," Abdel Aziz said.

The president's mandate expires in 2014.