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Mauritania prosecutors charge five with allegedly plotting coup

[JURIST] Prosecutors in Mauritania [JURIST news archive; CIA backgrounder] have charged five people, including a Defense Ministry advisor with close ties to ousted autocratic ruler Maaouiya Ould Taya [Wikipedia profile], with "plotting to reverse the constitutional order" by overthrowing the military junta. The suspects, charged Tuesday, were arrested June 19 for allegedly conspiring to disrupt the constitutional referendum [JURIST report; BBC Q&A] that overwhelmingly passed in June.

The referendum is a step toward democracy for the Arab-dominated African nation, setting term limits [JURIST report] on presidencies and allowing parliament to hold votes of no confidence in the government. The Military Council for Justice and Democracy [Wikipedia profile], which overthrew Taya last year [JURIST report], has promised to implement democratic rule in the country by 2007. AP has more.

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