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President signs law abolishing Senate

President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania has signed a newly drafted law abolishing the senate.

The abolition of the Senate was the most controversial measure in a package of reforms passed by referendum this month.

According to Middle-East Monitor, the Mauritanian Minister of Information, Mohamed Lemine Ould Cheikh, said the law was passed the same day the constitutional council cleared the results of the referendum in which 85 percent of those who voted approved the measure.

However, the official turnout figure for the vote was 53.73 percent of the country’s population, as senators and opposition politicians who campaigned against the changes had called for a boycott of the vote.

Opposition groups who opposed the abolition of the senate alleged the President was laying the groundwork for a third term in power, despite his claims to the contrary.

President Aziz came to power in a coup in 2008, before being elected in 2009 and again for a second five-year term in 2014.

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