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Mauritania - Open Map
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Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Mauritania
conventional short form: Mauritania
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Islamiyah al Muritaniyah
local short form: Muritaniyah

Data code: MR

Government type: republic

Capital: Nouakchott

Administrative divisions: 12 regions (regions, singular - region) and 1 capital district*; Adrar, Assaba, Brakna, Dakhlet Nouadhibou, Gorgol, Guidimaka, Hodh Ech Chargui, Hodh El Gharbi, Inchiri, Nouakchott*, Tagant, Tiris Zemmour, Trarza

Independence: 28 November 1960 (from France)

National holiday: Independence Day, 28 November (1960)

Constitution: 12 July 1991

Legal system: a combination of Shari'a (Islamic law) and French civil law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Col. Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed TAYA (since 12 December 1984)
head of government: Prime Minister Cheikel Afia Ould Mohamed KHOUNA (since 16 November 1998)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 12 December 1997 (next to be held NA December 2003); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: President Col. Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed TAYA reelected with 90.9% of the vote

Legislative branch: bicameral legislature consists of the Senate or Majlis al-Shuyukh (56 seats; 17 up for election every two years; members elected by municipal leaders to serve six-year terms) and the National Assembly or Majlis al-Watani (79 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 17 April 1998 (next to be held NA 2001); National Assembly - last held 11 and 18 October 1996 (next to be held NA 2001)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRDS 71, AC 1, independents and other 7

Judicial branch: three-tier system: lower, appeals, and Supreme Court (Cour Supreme)

Political parties and leaders: Action for Change or AC [Messoud Ould BOULKHEIR]; Assembly for Democracy and Unity or RDU [Ahmed Ould SIDI BABA]; Democratic and Social Republican Party or PRDS (ruling party) [President Col. Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed TAYA]; National Avant-Garde Party or PAN [Khattry Ould JIDDOU]; Popular Social and Democratic Union or UPSD [Mohamed Mahmoud Ould MAH]; Union of Democratic Forces-New Era or UFD/NE [Ahmed Ould DADDAH]
note: parties legalized by constitution passed 12 July 1991, however, politics continue to be tribally based

Political pressure groups and leaders: General Confederation of Mauritanian Workers or CGTM [Abdallahi Ould MOHAMED, secretary general]; Mauritanian Workers Union or UTM [Mohamed Ely Ould BRAHIM, secretary general]; B'athists; Arab nationalists; Islamists

International organization participation: ABEDA, ACCT (associate), ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, AMU, CAEU, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ahmed Ben Khalifa BEN JIDDOU
chancery: 2129 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 232-5700
FAX: [1] (202) 319-2623

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Timberlake FOSTER
embassy: Rue Abdallahi Ould Oubeid, Nouakchott
mailing address: B. P. 222, Nouakchott
telephone: [222] (2) 526-60, 526-63
FAX: [222] (2) 515-92

Flag description: green 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



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