Mauritanian leader, seen eyeing third term, says only voters can change law

By Kissima Diagana NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) – Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has said any change to the Saharan nation's constitution must go to a referendum, after opposition leaders reacted angrily to a plea by his justice minister that he be allowed to run for a third term. Abdel Aziz made the declaration late on Thursday at the opening of an "inclusive national dialogue" at which delegates from the government, opposition and civil society are to discuss possible changes to the constitution. "The proposals and recommendations that require constitutional amendments will be submitted to popular plebiscite via a referendum," said Abdel Aziz, an important Western ally in the fight against al Qaeda-linked Islamists in the Sahara.

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