Mauritanian authorities licenced 18 political parties including a party representing the moderate Islamic movement, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), as a curtain raiser for a new political stage the country is witnessing after toppling the regime of Maaouiya Ould Taya in the summer of 2005 .
The licensed parties included three parties which were banned in the last years, "the National Gathering for Reform and Development " representing Islamists, "The Direct Democracy Movement" affiliated to the revolutionary committees, and the Reform Party which was previously believed to be rejected by the interim authorities because some of its leaders were close to the former ousted president, Maaouiya Ould Taya .
The new party leader, and general coordinator of the movement of moderate reformists, MP Mohamed Jemil Ould Mansour, confirmed that the new party is not an Islamic party in the current concept circulated by the media, but it is rather a party of the reformists, although Mauritanian law does not ban Islamic parties at all, but it is the authorities that arbitrarily interpret law .
Ould Mansour said:" Mauritanian constitution does not include neither in the original edition nor in its latest amendments any reference to Islamic parties.
It doesn"t ban them neither in form nor in concept,.
The main point is that the law organizing political parties stipulates in the fourth article that no one is allowed to form a party that monopolizes the banner of Islam.
It is actually undebatable.
It may be stressing that all parties are required to have an Islamic source of authority according to the constitution " .
Ould Mansour pointed out that all current political parties stick to this legal article, the Islamic source of authority.
Definitely, our new party does not seek such a monopoly.
Ould Mansour stressed that any one reading the manifesto of the the moderate reformists will see a political party that runs worldly affairs, a party that has its own views in economy, health, education, and domestic and foreign politics. Ould Mansour confirmed that there is no division of Islamic and no Islamic parties in Mauritania, due to the fact that all parties in the country invoke their systems and political views from Islamic principles according to the Mauritanian constitution.
He added that his party is like these parties. The general coordinator of the movement of moderate reformists confirmed that the country is currently facing a transitional period in its political development, requiring all Mauritanians to protect democracy after many years of lies and distortion and achieve development after many eras of backwardness, and consolidating national unity after schemes for division. We require cooperation of all people.
Asked whether there are figures outside the reformists and will join the expected party, Ould Mansour said: "The party is a national party that will be open to every one approving its general principles and views It is worth mentioning that Islamists in Mauritania tried, 17 years ago, to form a political party. The submitted, from the first months of the then so called democratic pluralism in 1991, three files for licensing a party during the era of Ould Taya"s regime (1984 - 2005). They tried again in the transitional period following overthrowing him, but all previous bids were rejected. Definitive System of the New Party
Based on the constitution of July, 20th, 1991, a group of Mauritanians has established a political party that calls for a national gathering for reform and development, seeking to contribute to finding solutions for political, social, economic and cultural problems, and other problems that may obstruct the march of the Mauritanian people, through a political program which is based on constants in line views of the times.
First Chapter- name, headquarters, emblem, slogan:
Article 1: A political party shall be established in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania under the name "The National Gathering For Reform and Development", according to laws applied in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
Article 2: Its headquarters shall be based in the capital Nouakchott, and it can be moved to any place nationwide according to a decision from the party bodies, and according to arrangements of its bylaw.
Article 3: The party"s slogan is: Originality- Reform- Development.
Article 4: The emblem distinguishing the party will be defined in the bylaw.
Second Chapter- Principles and Objectives:
Article 5: The Main Principles of the Party:
-Commitment to Islam as the only source for legislation, and religion of the country and people, as prescribed in the constitution.
-Consolidating and protecting national unity, as part of a recognition of the right of ethnic and cultural multiplicity.
- Reinforcing individual and collective freedoms, and defending main human rights of the citizens.
-Defending the Mauritanian soil, independence.
-Protecting individual property, freedom of creativity taking into consideration public interests.
- Adhering to the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, and adhering to multiple democratic mechanisms for a peaceful circulation of power.
Third Chapter - Goals :
Article 6 : The National Gathering For Reform and Development aims at:
- Establishing a society which is full of role-models, ideals and values derived from our righteous Islamic religion, and a correct implementation of democracy that guarantees justice, peace, welfare, freedom and equality.
- Protecting national unity, soil, national independence, and defending the higher interests of the country.
- Establishing a real state of law.
- Establishing an option of a democratic and peaceful circulation of power.
- Uprooting social diseases and deviant conducts like enslavement, racism, sectarianism, tribalism, regionalism, nepotism, and all aspects of man-to-man abuses.
-Achieving social justice and spreading justice.
-Defending the independence, identity and constants of the country.
-Protecting the economic resources and cultural heritage of the country.
-Reviving Mauritania"s cultural role and giving it its proper position amon peoples all over the world, as a typical democratic Islamic republic.
- Working for the formation of new world order based on peace, harmonious coexistence and social justice, and seeks to eradicate wars and sources of armed conflicts.
- Defending fair cases all over the world, supporting oppressed and stressing on people"s self-determination rights.