NOUAKCHOTT: Mauritania’s opposition said yesterday that President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, shot in the intestines in what was described as an accident, is not capable of leading the nation and must step down.
Abdel Aziz returned home on Saturday after 40 days recuperating in France following the October 13 shooting, prompting opposition protests against a power vacuum in his absence.
“We maintain that the head of State is incompetent and his regime must get out” said Saleh Ould Henenna of the coalition Coordination of Democratic Opposition (COD) at a press conference.
“The coming days will prove that Abdel Aziz is physically incapable just as he has always been politically, to lead the country and that his return will only complicate the chances for a solution to the country’s crisis.”
The country’s opposition has long demanded that Aziz step down, and began regular protests against his regime since May.
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’etat. The president’s mandate expires in 2014.
In an interview with French International Radio (RFI) and Le Monde newspaper on Saturday he said he still has a comfortable majority in parliament to govern.
“The opposition must know that to get to power, you have to go through the ballot box and without the ballot box you can’t demand anything.”