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Cable sobre la victoria del general golpista en Mauritania

España es el primer país en reconocer los resultados de las elecciones de 2008 que dan ganador a Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz

ID: 217865
Date: 2009-07-23 15:32:00
Origin: 09NOUAKCHOTT490
Source: Embassy Nouakchott
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno: 09NOUAKCHOTT446
Destination: VZCZCXRO4838
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P 231532Z JUL 09
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8657
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RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0791
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1144
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RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0776
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0167
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RUEHDS/USMISSION USAU ADDIS ABABA
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1238
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 NOUAKCHOTT 000490

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/16/2019
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, KDEM, MR, PHUM, PTER
SUBJECT: MAURITANIA: POLITICAL ROUNDUP FOR THE WEEK OF JULY
19-23

REF: NOUAKCHOTT 446

Classified By: Ambassador Mark Boulware for reasons 1.4 (c) and (d)

1. Summary: This week in Nouakchott, Aziz scores a first
round win with 52.58 percent of the vote. Despite
international observer declarations that the election was
transparent, four opposition candidates contest the results
and denounce "massive fraud." Three of them filed complaints
with the Constitutional Council. President-elect Aziz
receives congratulations from the AU, Morocco, and Spain,
among others, but not from the US, France, and the European
Union, who are waiting for the Constitutional Council to
approve the results. The parliamentarian majority calls for
the opposition to concede but the opposition launches a
"Where's My Vote?" campaign and plans to demonstrate on July
25. In other election unrelated news, police arrests the
alleged Leggett murderers as well as a salafist accused of
participating in the 2008 Tourine attack. The Court of
Appeals confirmed the sentences of terrorists implicated in
the 2005 Leimghety attacks. Government employees complain of
the government's increasingly late payments and the swine flu
case in Nouadhibou turns out to be a false alarm. End
summary.

2. (U) Aziz wins in the first round: In the final days of
the campaign, Aziz swore he would win on the first round and
he delivered -- On July 18, he emerged as the election's
victorious candidate with 52.58 percent of the vote.
Messaoud Ould Boulkheir and Ahmed Ould Daddah followed with
16.29 and 13.66 percent respectively. The remaining
candidates obtained less than five percent. Four opposition
candidates, including Boulkheir, Vall, Daddah and Meimou
organized a press conference on July 19 to contest the
results on the grounds of "massive fraud" while the remaining
candidates, including Mansour, immediately conceded. Aziz's
victory was confirmed by the Ministry of the Interior on July
19 but the Constitutional Council has still not validated the
results. Several key Aziz opponents including Tawassoul
candidate Jemil Mansour, Mayor of Nouakchott Hamza and former
Prime Minister Zeidane (the former two being Ould Daddah
supporters) have recognized the election results).

3. (U) Observers and CENI claim election was fair: A
majority of observer groups, including the African Union,
RHADDO and the International Organization of the
Francophonie, have issued press releases stating the election
was transparent despite some irregularities. CENI published
a press release on July 23 stressing the elections were free
and fair. Human rights activist Boubacar Messaoud challenged
observer statements. According to him, observers only
arrived at the last minute and did not witness the election
preparation process as in 2007; there were insufficient
observers; and observers do not have the cultural insight to
understand how fraud schemes are conducted in Mauritania.

4. (U) International community congratulates Aziz: Some
members of the international community have already
congratulated General Aziz on his victory, including Morocco,
Qatar, Sudan, Spain, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Syria, and
Algeria.

5. (U) Parliamentarian majority supports Aziz: On July 22,
the parliamentarian majority reiterated its support for Aziz
and asked the opposition to concede, inviting them "to accept
the winning candidate's massive victory and look towards the
future, embracing its role as the democratic opposition."
Sixty one deputies out of ninety five support Aziz. Rumor
has it that Messaoud Ould Boulkheir is willing to continue
working as the official leader of the opposition. Aziz may
not dissolve a parliament that is already favorable to him
but the question remains of whether he will be willing to put
up with Boulkheir as President of the Assembly -- Boulkheir,
a Haratine leader and strong opposition candidate, may be too
difficult to take on. .

6. (C) Spain recognizes the election despite EU guidance:
Spain disregarded the EU presidency's guidance to hold off on
statements until after a Constitutional Council decision and

NOUAKCHOTT 00000490 002 OF 003


released a communique on July 22 congratulating Mauritania on
the election. France's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
statements have been more circumspect, saying France is
waiting for the Constitutional Council decision.

7. (U) French Socialist Party rejects results: The French
Socialist party released a communique saying that the July 18
election "did not allow the country to overcome the political
crisis unleashed by the August 6 coup d'etat due to the
extreme haste in which it was prepared." It calls on
Mauritania's judicial authorities to give careful
consideration to complaints submitted by the opposition.

8. (C) Opposition files complaints with Constitutional
Council: On July 22, Daddah, Vall and Boulkheir filed
complaints with the Constitutional Council, stating Aziz
conducted "massive fraud" by manipulating the electoral list,
producing fake electoral cards, allowing foreigners to vote
and using chemical products on the ballot. The FNDD's
Mohamed Ould Maoloud told the ICG his strategy was to be more
focused -- trying to raise sufficient doubt about the
relatively small number of votes that gave Aziz an absolute
majority in order to force a second round. The
Constitutional Council has eight days to consider the
allegations. It is rumored Aziz is looking to have his
inauguration on the 27th.

9. (U) Opposition alleges fraud and RFD launches "Where's
My Vote?" campaign: The For Mauritania website published
videos of a vote buying operation supervised by Aziz staffers
at Nouakchott's Atlantique Hotel. Aziz spokesman Abdallahi
Ould Hormtallah and senator Mohcen Ould El Hadj are spotted
in the video. The RFD has launched a Where's My Vote
campaign and published a video of a fake electoral card
factory. According to Embassy sources, donkey's tagged with
"Where's my vote?" have been spotted in Nouakchott. On July
20, police forces clashed against RFD supporters and
dispersed them with batons and tear gas. Daddah told the
press on July 22 that his supporters are eager to take the
streets in protest.

10. (U) Opposition will march on July 25: Opposition
candidates are organizing a march on July 25 to protest the
election results. According to Embassy contacts, the march
was not authorized but the opposition has decided to move
forward.

11. (U) Reinstatement of 2,000 government employees:
Director of ANAIR Ba Madine announced the state was
repatriating two thousand government employees who were fired
during the purge of Afro-Mauritanians in the late eighties
and early nineties, an event known in Mauritania as the
"passif humanitaire." One thousand of these civil servants
are teachers. Madine claimed that the Ministry of Education
will give their jobs back to all those who so desire. The
government will pay pensions to retirees. The government is
also making arrangements to give all the refugees a
compensation.

12. (U) Mauritania Airways incident. On 12 July,
Mauritania Airways employees and technical staff were
prevented by a private security company from entering their
offices. The Minister of Justice had to intervene with the
President of the Nouakchott Commercial Court to solve the
problem. According to press reports, Mauritania Airways is
being investigated in connection with the now defunct
parastatal Air Mauritanie scandal.

13. (C) It is not swine flu: The World Health Organization
(WHO) and the Ministry of Health confirmed that the samples
taken from the French citizen hospitalized in Nouadhibou with
swine flu symptoms tested negative to H1N1 (reftel).

14. (U) Government is late in paying employee salaries:
Mauritanian government employees complain that it takes the
government longer and longer to pay them. Salary payments
for the month of June have been delayed up to ten days.
According to local press, government employees are resentful
that Aziz is spending so much money in his campaign while

NOUAKCHOTT 00000490 003 OF 003


they have to wait weeks to get paid.

15 (U) Court of Appeals sentences salafists: The Court of
Appeals confirmed and increased the sentences of some of the
salafists who participated in the Lemgheity attack. The
Court sentenced Taher Ould Bih and Teyib Ould Saleck for
forgery and weapons possession. Ould Bih was sentenced to
eight years instead of five and Saleck to seven instead of
three. The sentences of five other salafists were confirmed
but not increased.

16. (U) Salafist arrested: An anti-terrorist operation
resulted in the arrest of Mohamed Ould Abdou a.k.a.
Souleimane, a salafist suspected of participating in the
Tourine attacks. Charges against Souleimane include: illegal
arms possession leading to the death of Mauritanian military;
spying on behalf of foreign elements to plan an aggression
against Mauritania; and receiving military training abroad.


17. (U) Police arrests alleged Leggett murderers: On July
17 in Nouakchott's Ksar neighborhood, police exchanged
gunfire with three terrorists suspected of killing
Christopher Leggett. Two suspects were arrested, including
one carrying a bomb belt.
BOULWARE
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