History of Mauritania: Taya's Coup

History of Mauritania: Taya's Coup Last updated on Thursday 22nd April 2010

A coup took place on 12 December 1984, led by Lt. Col. Maouya Ould Sid Ahmed Ould Taya, who assumed control. He immediately gave amnesty to political prisoners and pledged greater social welfare programs.

Taya was known for his ingenious reshuffling of cabinets in 1985-86, but he is also recognized for his achievements in foreign policy. On 13 April 1985, he improved relations with Morocco, although he did not go back on his recognition of the SADR (Sahara Arab Democratic Republic). He even restored relations with Libya, which had been damaged when Libya was accused of supporting student unrest in Mauritania, and when it had deported 1,000 Mauritanians working in Libya in 1985.

In the late eighties Taya introduced an attempt at democracy by setting up democratically elected councils. In the referendum of July, 1991, the Mauritanian people voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new constitution with multi-party elections.

In January 1992, Taya was elected president, and with the pro-government party, the Democratic and Social Republican Party (PDRS), has continued to win a series of national and local elections.

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