Procedure : 2008/2623(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : RC-B6-0386/2008

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 04/09/2008 - 12.1
CRE 04/09/2008 - 12.1

Votes :

PV 04/09/2008 - 13.1
CRE 04/09/2008 - 13.1

Texts adopted :


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B6‑0409/2008} RC1
pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure, by
   Colm Burke, Charles Tannock, Urszula Gacek, Bernd Posselt, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Tunne Kelam, Carlos José Iturgaiz Angulo, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Iles Braghetto, Jean-Pierre Audy, on behalf of the PPE-DE Group
   Pasqualina Napoletano, Marie-Arlette Carlotti, Alain Hutchinson, on behalf of the PSE Group
   Marios Matsakis, Thierry Cornillet, on behalf of the ALDE Group
   Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis, Ryszard Czarnecki, Konrad Szymański, Ewa Tomaszewska, Hanna Foltyn-Kubicka, Adam Bielan, on behalf of the UEN Group
   Marie Anne Isler Béguin, Hélène Flautre on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
   Luisa Morgantini, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
replacing the motions by the following groups:
   PSE (B6‑0386/2008)
   PPE-DE (B6‑0392/2008)
   ALDE (B6‑0397/2008)
   GUE/NGL (B6‑0398/2008)
   Verts/ALE (B6‑0408/2008)
   UEN (B6‑0409/2008)
on the coup in Mauritania

European Parliament resolution on the coup in Mauritania 

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the statements made following the coup by the President of the European Parliament, the Presidency of the European Union, the High Representative for the CFSP, the Commission, the UN Security Council, the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF),

–  having regard to the second visit to Mauritania since the coup by the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinit,

–  having regard to the Constitutive Act of the AU, which condemns all attempts to seize power by force,

-  having regard to Rule 115(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas a took place in on, when President was ousted by a group of high-ranking generals whom he had dismissed from office earlier that day,

B.  whereas the legislative elections of November and December 2006, the senatorial elections of January 2007 and the election of President in March 2007 were found to have been fair and transparent by the international observers, including the EU observers and, in particular, the EP observation missions, through which Parliament endorsed those elections' legality,

C.  whereas more than two-thirds of the members of Mauritania's parliament have signed a declaration of support for the coup leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and his fellow generals; whereas in June, the legislature passed a vote of no confidence, prompting President Abdallahi to reshuffle his cabinet; whereas 49 members withdrew from parliament after President Abdallahi appointed 12 cabinet ministers from among those who had served in the much-disliked previous regime,

D.  all decisions concerning the political, economic and social future of Mauritania are a matter for the people's elected representatives alone; whereas democracy entails a system of checks and balances between the executive and the legislature, both of which derive their legitimacy from the electorate;

E.  whereas the coup has occurred in a deteriorating economic and social context, while the success of democracy is best ensured by development,

F.  recognising the progress made regarding the return of refugees and the adoption of the law criminalising slavery in placeplaceMauritania,

G.  having regard to the EU's backing for the democratic transition and the 'support programme' involving EUR 156 m for the period 2008-2013 in the framework of the 10th EDF, complementing the assistance already in place and the EUR 335 m granted in aid since 1985,

H.  whereas the World Bank has suspended an amount of USD 175 m in aid to Mauritania; whereas this suspension will affect some 17 national projects in Mauritania and its participation in World Bank regional projects, concerning rural development, health, education and infrastructure (e.g. road building),

I.  whereas a democratic Mauritania represents a pole of stability in a highly fragile subregion, marked by the presence in the Sahara, on the north-eastern border with Algeria and Mali, of the GSPC (Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat), which has become Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, as well as by the Tuareg rebellion,

J.  whereas the 'constitutional ordinance' in which the junta defines its powers and which enables it to govern by decree is without any legal basis,

1.  Condemns the military coup perpetrated by the generals in Mauritania, the second coup in that country in three years, which has violated both constitutional legality and the results of democratic and internationally validated elections; regrets this setback, given the notable advances made in the development of democracy and the rule of law over the past few years in Mauritania; calls for the current political tensions in Mauritania to be resolved within an institutional framework reflecting the transition to democracy, and for the constitutional order and civilian rule to be restored as soon as possible;

2.  Calls for the immediate release of President, Prime Minister, and other members of the government, who are still under house arrest in various locations;

3.  Calls for full respect for the constitutional legality of the powers of the President and the parliament; this means that the mechanisms for cohabitation between President and parliament and for the balance between executive and legislature need to be adjusted on a basis of respect and in the framework of the constitution, which can only be amended in the interests of greater stability if this is done in line with its own provisions and following a large-scale debate including all political forces;

4.  Believes that the constitutional methods and forms required for putting an end to the crisis must be the outcome of an open and frank debate involving the main political forces;

5.  Welcomes the return of the refugees, the adoption of a law criminalising slavery, and the draft law for the liberalisation of the media; deplores the absence of democratic means of dealing with the legacy of human rights violations and the abuses perpetrated in 1990 against the black Mauritanian community, despite the President's promises to set up a committee of inquiry;

6.  Calls for the restoration of the rights of the refugees who have returned to placeplaceMauritania, and demands the return of the property confiscated from them;

7.  Insists that the people of Mauritania, who are already severely affected by the economic and food crises, must not be taken hostage in this crisis, and calls on the Commission to implement the support projects for civil society under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights;

8.  Notes the announcement of new presidential elections by the junta, but deplores the failure to set any dates and the absence - contrary to the position of the 2005-2007 junta - of a commitment to electoral neutrality; calls on the military in power to commit themselves forthwith to a timetable for the restoration of the democratic institutions, with the formation of a transitional government in cooperation with the political forces;

9.  Supports the AU's efforts to seek a rational solution to the crisis;

10.  Calls on the Commission to engage in a political dialogue, pursuant to Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement, with a view to restoring constitutional legality, and to inform Parliament of the outcome of that dialogue; should it not succeed, calls for the reactivation of Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement, under which all aid other than food and humanitarian aid can be frozen;

11.  Urges the Council Presidency to continue to monitor the political situation in placeplaceMauritania in close collaboration with the AU, and to ensure the safety of EU nationals;

12.  Calls for a parliamentary delegation to be sent as soon as possible, with a view to its members meeting their counterparts and proposing forms of aid to end the crisis;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the institutions of the African Union, ECOWAS, the OIF, and the UN Security Council.

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