Panafrican News Agency

Mauritanian media highlight misfortunes of former president Abdel Aziz

Nouakchott, Mauritania (PANA) - The media in Mauritania this week devoted most of their comments to the difficulties of the former head of state, Mohamed ould Abdel Aziz (2008-2019), whose decade of governance was the subject of extensive investigations by a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CEP).

The former president is accused of "undermining the integrity of the national territory" for having proposed to cede Tidra Island, located about 100 km from Nouakchott, opposite the Ban d'Argunin National Park-BNPA nature reserve, to a foreigner.

In an editorial under the headline "Utile distinguo (Useful distinction)", the weekly Le Calame on Wednesday quoted law specialists such as professors Mohamed Mahmoud ould Salah and Lô Gourmo, who explained at length that the High Court of Justice is not necessarily needed to judge the former president and that an ordinary court is more than enough.

The president, they said, is individually responsible for acts accomplished during his term of office when these are detachable from the presidential function.

Thus, "private contracts, violation of procurement procedures, misappropriation of public funds, could all be acts detachable from the office of the President".

Following the adoption of a new resolution extending the mandate of the MPs in charge of the investigations, Points Chauds newspaper believes that for the former President Mohamed Abdel Aziz, "all the indicators are turning red" with "new facts likely to undermine the integrity of the national territory".

For its part, "Mauriweb" speaks of new revelations before the CEP of Kapaturu, an Indian company that won many energy-related contracts during the reign of the former president.

Mauriweb refers to "reports that the company has leased several apartments owned by the former head of state for two million ouguiyas each.

"There is a clear problem of conflict of interest because the price is so out of proportion to the realities of the real estate market that it all looks like corruption in disguise," Mauriweb wrote.
-0- PANA SAS/JSG/MTA/MA 25July2020