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Mauritania Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Mauritania
    conventional short form: Mauritania
    local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Islamiyah al Muritaniyah
    local short form: Muritaniyah

    Data code: MR

    Government type: republic

    Capital: Nouakchott

    Administrative divisions: 12 regions (regions, singular—region) and 1 capital district*; Adrar, Assaba, Brakna, Dakhlet Nouadhibou, Gorgol, Guidimaka, Hodh Ech Chargui, Hodh El Gharbi, Inchiri, Nouakchott*, Tagant, Tiris Zemmour, Trarza

    Independence: 28 November 1960 (from France)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 28 November (1960)

    Constitution: 12 July 1991

    Legal system: a combination of Shari'a (Islamic law) and modern law

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Col. Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed TAYA (since 12 December 1984)
    head of government: Prime Minister Cheikel Afia Ould Mohamed KHOUNA (since 16 November 1998)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 12 December 1997 (next to be held NA December 2003); prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: President Col. Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed TAYA reelected with 90% of the vote

    Legislative branch: bicameral legislature consists of the Senate or Majlis al-Shuyukh (56 seats; 17 up for election every two years; members elected by municipal leaders to serve six-year terms) and the National Assembly or Majlis al-Watani (79 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: Senate—last held 17 April 1998 (next to be held NA 2000); National Assembly—last held 11 and 18 October 1996 (next to be held NA 2001)
    election results: Senate—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—NA; National Assembly—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—PRDS 71, AC 1, independents and other 7

    Judicial branch: three-tier system: lower, appeals, and Supreme Court (Cour Supreme)

    Political parties and leaders: legalized by constitution passed 12 July 1991, however, politics continue to be tribally based; emerging parties include Democratic and Social Republican Party or PRDS [led by President Col. Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed TAYA]; Union of Democratic Forces-New Era or UFD/NE [headed by Ahmed Ould DADDAH]; Assembly for Democracy and Unity or RDU [Ahmed Ould SIDI BABA]; Popular Social and Democratic Union or UPSD [Mohamed Mahmoud Ould MAH]; Mauritanian Party for Renewal or PMR [Hameida BOUCHRAYA]; National Avant-Garde Party or PAN [Khattry Ould JIDDOU]; Mauritanian Party of the Democratic Center or PCDM [Bamba Ould SIDI BADI]; Action for Change or AC [Messoud Ould BOULKHEIR]

    Political pressure groups and leaders: Mauritanian Workers Union or UTM [Mohamed Ely Ould BRAHIM, secretary general]; General Confederation of Mauritanian Workers or CGTM [Abdallahi Ould MOHAMED, secretary general]

    International organization participation: ABEDA, ACCT (associate), ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, AMU, CAEU, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador-designate Ahmed Ould Khalifa OULD JIDDOU
    chancery: 2129 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 232-5700
    FAX: [1] (202) 319-2623

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Timberlake FOSTER
    embassy: Rue Abdallahi Ould Oubeid, Nouakchott
    mailing address: B. P. 222, Nouakchott
    telephone: [222] (2) 526-60, 526-63
    FAX: [222] (2) 515-92

    Flag description: green with a yellow five-pointed star above a yellow, horizontal crescent; the closed side of the crescent is down; the crescent, star, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)