Coup Leader Takes Over Mauritania
New law confers presidential powers to head of military junta
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 12, 2008 9:38 AM CDT
Supporters of ousted Mauritanian president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, cheer and wave pictures of their ousted leader, from a balcony during a demonstration.   (AP Photo/Candace Feit)
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(Newser) – The military junta that overthrew Mauritania's government last week adopted a law today transferring the power of the presidency to the head of the junta. A statement by the junta blames the deteriorating condition of daily life in Mauritania, the president's stonewalling of various government institutions, and his firing of the chiefs of the armed forces for sparking the overthrow.

The 11-article law, released in a communique, confers the rights of the country's highest office to the army general who led the coup last week. Soldiers detained President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, his prime minister, and three other high-ranking officials an hour after the president announced the firing of the country's top four generals.