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Mauritania Government Profile 2014

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Country nameconventional long form: Islamic Republic of Mauritania
conventional short form: Mauritania
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Islamiyah al Muritaniyah
local short form: Muritaniyah
Government typemilitary junta
Capitalname: Nouakchott
geographic coordinates: 18 04 N, 15 58 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions13 regions (wilayas, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Assaba, Brakna, Dakhlet Nouadhibou, Gorgol, Guidimaka, Hodh ech Chargui, Hodh el Gharbi, Inchiri, Nouakchott, Tagant, Tiris Zemmour, Trarza
Independence28 November 1960 (from France)
National holidayIndependence Day, 28 November (1960)
Constitutionprevious 1964; latest adopted 12 July 1991; amended 2006, 2012 (2012)
Legal systemmixed legal system of Islamic and French civil law
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ (since 5 August 2009); note - AZIZ, who deposed democratically elected President Sidi Ould Cheikh ABDELLAHI in a coup and installed himself as President of the High State Council on 6 August 2008, retired from the military and stepped down from the presidency in April 2009 to run for president; he was elected president in an election held on 18 July 2009
head of government: Prime Minister Moulaye Ould Mohamed LAGHDAF (since 14 August 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held on 18 July 2009 (next to be held by 2014)
election results: Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ elected president; percent of vote - Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ 52.6%, Messaoud Ould BOULKHEIR 16.3%, Ahmed Ould DADDAH 13.7%, other 17.4%
Legislative branchbicameral legislature consists of the Senate or Majlis al-Shuyukh (56 seats; 53 members elected by municipal leaders and 3 members elected for Mauritanians abroad to serve six-year terms; a portion of seats up for election every two years) and the National Assembly or Al Jamiya Al Wataniya (146 seats; 106 members elected in single- and multi-member constituencies to serve five-year terms and 40 are elected nationwide through a closed list proportional representation system to serve five-year terms; of the 40 seats elected at the nationwide level, 20 are reserved for women)
elections: Senate - last held in November 2009; National Assembly - first round last held on 23 November and second round on 21 December 2013
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPM (Coalition of Majority Parties) 45, COD 7, RNRD-TAWASSOUL 4; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UPR 75, RNRD-TAWASSOUL 16, El Wiam 10, APP 7, UDP 6, El Karam Party 6, AJD/MR 4, Surge of Youth for the Nation 4, El Vadila Party 3, PUD 3, Ravah Party 3, PRDR 3, others 6
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (subdivided into 1 criminal and 2 civil chambers, each with a president and 5 counselors); Constitutional Council (consists of 6 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president appointed by the president of the republic to serve a 5-year renewable term; Constitutional Council members appointed - 3 by the president of the republic, 2 by the president of the National Assembly, and 1 by the president of the Senate; members serve single, 9-year terms with one-third of membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: High Court of Justice (cases involving treason and criminal acts of high government officials); courts of appeal; wilaya (regional) courts (located at the headquarters of each of the 13 regions); commercial and labor courts; criminal courts; moughataa (district) courts; informal/customary courts
Political parties and leadersAlliance for Justice and Democracy/Movement for Renewal or AJD/MR [Ibrahima Moctar SARR]
Alternative or El-Badil [Mohamed Yahdhi Ould MOCTAR HACEN]
Coalition of Majority Parties or CPM (parties supporting the regime including PRDR, UPR, UDP, RD, HATEM-PMUC, UCD)
Coalition for Pacific Alternation or CAP (coalition of opposition parties, including APP, El Wiam, and Sawab)
Coordination of Democratic Opposition or COD [Ahmed Ould DADDAH] (coalition of 11 opposition political parties including RNRD-TAWASSOUL, RFD, UFP, PNDD-ADIL, Alternative or El-Badil)
Democratic Renewal or RD [Moustapha Ould ABDEIDARRAHMANE]
El Karama Party [Cheikhna Ould Mohamed Ould HAJBOU]
El Vadila Party [Ethmane Ould Ahmed ABOULMAALY]
El Wiam [Boidiel Ould HOUMEIT]
Mauritanian Party for Unity and Change or HATEM-PMUC [Saleh Ould HANENA]
National Pact for Democracy and Development or PNDD-ADIL [Yahya Ould Ahmed El WAGHEF] (independents formerly supporting President Abdellahi)
National Rally for Freedom, Democracy and Equality or RNLDE
National Rally for Reform and Development or RNRD-TAWASSOUL [Mohamed Jamil MANSOUR] (moderate Islamists)
Party of Unity and Development or PUD [Mohamed BARO]
Popular Progressive Alliance or APP [Messaoud Ould BOULKHEIR]
Popular Front or FP [Mohamed Lemine Ch'bih Ould CHEIKH MALAININE]
Rally of Democratic Forces or RFD [Ahmed Ould DADDAH]
Ravah Party
Republican Party for Democracy and Renewal or PRDR [Mintata Mint HIDEID]
Sawab [Abdel Salem Ould HORMA]
Socialist and Democratic Unity Party or PUDS [Mahfouz Weld AZIZ]
Surge of Youth for the Nation [Lalla CHERIVA]
Union for Democracy and Progress or UDP [Naha Mint MOUKNASS]
Union for the Republic or UPR [Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamed LEMINE]
Union of Democratic Center or UCD [Cheikh Sid'Ahmed Ould BABA]
Union of the Forces for Progress or UFP [Mohamed Ould MAOULOUD]
Political pressure groups and leadersGeneral Confederation of Mauritanian Workers or CGTM [Abdallahi Ould MOHAMED, secretary general]
Independent Confederation of Mauritanian Workers or CLTM [Samory Ould BEYE]
Mauritanian Workers Union or UTM [Mohamed Ely Ould BRAHIM, secretary general]

other: Arab nationalists; Ba'thists; Islamists
International organization participationABEDA, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, CAEU (candidate), EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, MIUSMA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Mohamed Lemine El HAYCEN (since 28 July 2010)
chancery: 2129 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 232-5700 through 5701
FAX: [1] (202) 319-2623
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires David REIMER
embassy: 288 Rue Abdallaye, Rue 42-100 (between Presidency building and Spanish Embassy), Nouakchott
mailing address: BP 222, Nouakchott
telephone: [222] 4525-2660 through 2663
FAX: [222] 4525-1592
Flag descriptiongreen 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; the gold color stands for the sands of the Sahara
National anthemname: "Hymne National de la Republique Islamique de Mauritanie" (National Anthem of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania)
lyrics/music: Baba Ould CHEIKH/traditional, arranged by Tolia NIKIPROWETZKY
note: adopted 1960; the unique rhythm of the Mauritanian anthem makes it particularly challenging to sing

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on June 30, 2015