Mauritania: Disputes Among Deputies Amid Opposition Division

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
3 Min Read

For the second time on Tuesday evening, February 20th, the National Assembly’s bureau lifted the immunity of a member, Sawab opposition party’s deputy and former presidential candidate Biram Dah Abeid. This decision follows a complaint filed by the president of the opposition Union of Forces for Progress (UFP) against the deputy for “defamation and slander.” It underscores the divisions among certain opposition parties just months before the presidential election in June 2024.

The lifting of Biram Dah Abeid’s immunity comes a week after the UFP president, Mohamed Ould Maouloud, filed a complaint against him for defamation.

This complaint stems from the release of a video recording in which Biram Dah Abeid alleges that several former candidates, including the UFP president, received a substantial sum of money from businessman Mohamed Ould Bouamatou during the 2019 presidential campaign.

These defamatory remarks and unsubstantiated claims, according to Maître Lo Gourmo Abdoul, Mohamed Maouloud’s lawyer, prompted the legal action: “Biram himself was the subject of denunciations. He wanted to show that he was not the only one who received money by stating that even Mohamed Maouloud received 0.5 billion ouguiyas. We ask him to retract these defamatory statements, and we will immediately stop the process. We are pursuing a policy of appeasement.”

Meanwhile, some sources from the Sawab party denounce a plot by the authorities to sideline the deputy from the 2024 presidential election.

According to Maître Cheikh Hindi, Biram Dah Abeid’s lawyer, it is still too early in the proceedings to comment, but he considers the complaint excessive: “He only mentioned Maouloud as an example, that’s all. So, it is enough to say that it is not true, there is no need to file a complaint. Especially between two opposition friends. I have taken note of what happened, and now I am waiting for the preliminary investigation. But it is indeed fast…”

According to the lawyers, this rift between opposition parties is not new. At the end of September, the two opposition parties, RFD and UFP, signed a national reconciliation charter with the ruling party to open dialogue after highly criticized legislative elections. This decision was contested, among others, by the Sawab party.


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