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Constitution

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Mauritania – Constitution
{ Adopted on: 12 July 1991 }
{ ICL Document Status: 12 July 1991 }

Preamble
Trusting in the omnipotence of Allah, the Mauritanian people proclaims its will to guarantee
the integrity of its territory, its independence, and its national unity and to take upon itself its
free political economic and social development. Believing strongly in its spiritual values and in
the spreading of its civilization, it also solemnly proclaims its attachment to Islam and to the
principles of democracy as they have been defined by the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights of 10 Dec 1948 and by the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights of 28 June
1981 as well as in the other international conventions which Mauritania has signed. Judging
that liberty, equality, and the dignity of Man may be assured only in a society which
establishes the primacy of law, taking care to create the durable conditions for a harmonious
social development respectful of the precepts of Islam, the sole source of law, but responsive
as well to the exigencies of the modern world, the Mauritanian people proclaims in particular
the inalienable guarantee of the following rights and principles:
– the right to equality;
– the fundamental freedoms and rights of human beings;
– the right of property;
– political freedom and freedom of labor unions;
– economic and social rights; and
– the rights attached to the family, the basic unit of Islamic society.
Conscious of the necessity of strengthening its ties with brother peoples, the Mauritanian
people, a Muslim, African, and Arab people, proclaims that it will work for the achievement of
the unity of the Greater Maghreb of the Arab Nation and of Africa and for the consolidation of
peace in the world.

Title I General Provisions, Fundamental Principles
Article 1 [State Integrity, Equal Protection]

(1) Mauritania is an indivisible, democratic, and social Islamic Republic.
(2) The Republic guarantees equality before the law to all of its citizens without distinction as
to origin, race, sex, or social condition.
(3) All particularist propaganda of racial or ethnic character shall be punished by the law.

Article 2 [Sovereignty]

(1) The people shall be the source of all power.
(2) The national sovereignty belongs to the people which exercises it through its elected
representatives and through referendum.
(3) No fraction of the people nor any individual may claim for itself its exercise.
(4) No partial or total surrender of sovereignty may be decided without the consent of the
people.

Article 3 [Electoral Rights]

(1) Suffrage may be either direct or indirect according to the provisions of the law. It shall
always be universal, equal, and secret.
(2) All the citizens of the Republic of both sexes, who are adults and possess their civil and

political rights, may vote.
Article 4 [Rule of Law] The law is the supreme expression of the will of the people. All are required to submit to it.

Article 5 [State Religion] Islam shall be the religion of the people and of the State.

Article 6 [Languages] The national languages are Arabic, Poular, Soninke, and Wolof; the official language is
Arabic.

Article 7 [Capital] The capital of the State is Nouakchott.

Article 8 [Emblem, Seal, Anthem]

(1) The national emblem is a flag with a crescent and a gold star on a green ground.
(2) The seal of the State and the National Anthem are determined by law.

Article 9 [Motto] The Motto of the Republic is: “Honor, Fraternity, Justice”.

Article 10 [Individual Freedom, Rule of Law]

(1) The State shall guarantee to all its citizens public and individual freedoms:
– the freedom to travel and to settle in all parts of the territory of the Republic;
– the freedom of entry to and of exit from the national territory;
– the freedom of opinion and of thought;
– the freedom of expression;
– the freedom of assembly;
– the freedom of association and the freedom to belong to any political or labor organization
of one’s choice;
– the freedom of commerce and of industry; and
– the freedom of intellectual, artistic, and scientific creative effort.
(2) Freedom may be limited only by the law.

Article 11 [Political Parties]

(1) Parties and political groups shall work together for the formation of the expression of the
political will. They shall be formed and shall engage in their activities freely provided that they
respect democratic principles and that through their objectives or by their actions they do not
undermine the national sovereignty, the territorial integrity, and the unity of the Nation and of
the Republic.
(2) The law shall determine the conditions for the creation, the functioning, and the
dissolution of political parties.

Article 12 [Public Offices] All citizens may accede to public office or employment without condition other than those
determined by the law.

Article 13 [Presumption of Innocence, Personal Liberty, Privacy, No Violence]

(1) All persons shall be presumed innocent until the establishment of their guilt by a regularly

constituted court.
(2) No one may he prosecuted, arrested, detained, or punished except in cases determined
by the law and according to the formalities which it prescribes.
(3) The honor and the private life of the citizen and the inviolability of his person his domicile
and his correspondence shall be protected by the State.
(4) All forms of moral or physical violence shall be proscribed.

Article 14 [Strike]

(1) The right to strike is recognized. It may be exercised within the framework of the laws
which regulate it.
(2) Strikes may he forbidden by law for all public services or activities of vital interest to the
Nation.
(3) It is forbidden in the areas of national defense and security.

Article 15 [Property]

(1) The right of property shall be guaranteed.
(2) The right of inheritance shall be guaranteed.
(3) The property of the wakf and its foundations are recognized; their use shall be protected
by the law.
(4) The law may limit the extent of the exercise of private property if the exigencies of
economic and social development require it.
(5) A process of expropriation may be instituted only when public utility demands it and after
fair and prior compensation.
(6) The law shall determine the judicial rules for expropriation.

Article 16 [Family] The State and society shall protect the family.

Article 17 [Duty to Know the Law] Ignorance of the law shall be no excuse.

Article 18 [Duty to Defence, No Treason]

(1) Every citizen has the duty of protecting and safe-guarding the independence of the
country, its sovereignty, and the integrity of its territory.
(2) Treason, espionage, and going over to the enemy as well as all infractions committed with
prejudice to the security of the State shall be punished with all the rigor of the law.

Article 19 [Obligations] Every citizen must loyally fulfill his obligations to the national welfare and must respect both
public and private property.

Article 20 [Taxation]

(1) The citizens shall be taxed equally.
(2) Each one must share in the public tax burden according to his ability to contribute.
(3) No tax may he instituted except by virtue of a law.

Article 21 [Foreigners] Any alien who resides legally on national territory enjoys the protection of the law for his
person and his property.

Article 22 [Extradition] No one may he extradited unless it is by virtue of the laws and conventions of extradition.

Title II Executive
Article 23 [President] The President of the Republic shall he the Head of State. He shall be a Muslim.

Article 24 [Presidential Functions]

(1) The President of the Republic shall he the guardian of the constitution. He shall represent
the State. He shall guarantee, through his arbitration, the continuous and regular functioning
of public power.
(2) He is the guarantor of national independence and territorial integrity.

Article 25 [Executive Power] The President of the Republic exercises the executive power. He shall preside over the
Council of Ministers.

Article 26 [Election]

(1) The President of the Republic is elected for six years by direct, universal suffrage.
(2) He shall be elected by an absolute majority of the votes. If an absolute majority is not
obtained by one of the candidates during the first round of the election, there will be a second
round on the second following Friday. Only the two candidates remaining in the election who
have received the greatest number of votes in the first round may present themselves as
candidates.
(3) Any citizen born a Mauritanian, possessing his civil and political rights, and at least forty
years of age is eligible to be President of the Republic.
(4) The election commences upon convocation by the President of the Republic.
(5) The election of the new President of the Republic shall take place at least thirty days and
at most forty-five days before the expiration of the sitting President’s mandate.
(6) The conditions and the forms for accepting the candidacy as well as the rules regarding
the death or incapacity of candidates for the Presidency of the Republic are determined by an
organic law.
(7) Candidacy papers shall be sent to the Constitutional Council which shall rule on their
legality and announce the results of the election.

Article 27 [Incompatibility] The office of the President of the Republic shall be
incompatible with the exercise of any other public or private office.

Article 28 [Re-Eligibility] The President of the Republic shall be eligible for re-election.

Article 29 [Taking Office] The newly elected President shall take office at the expiration of the mandate of his
predecessor.

Article 30 [Competences]

(1) The President of the Republic shall determine and conduct the foreign policy of the Nation
as well as its defense and security policy.
(2) He shall appoint the Prime Minister and discharge him from his functions.

(3) Upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister, the President shall appoint the Ministers
to whom he may delegate by decree certain of his powers. He shall discharge them from their
functions after consultation with the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister and the ministers are responsible to the President of the Republic.
(4) The President of the Republic shall communicate with the Parliament through messages.
These messages shall not be the subject of any debate.

Article 31 [Dissolution of Parliament]

(1) The President of the Republic, after consultation with the Prime Minister and the
Presidents of the Assemblies, may pronounce the dissolution of the National Assembly.
General elections shall take place at least thirty days and at most sixty days after the
dissolution.
(2) The National Assembly shall meet in regular session fifteen days after the elections. If this
session takes place during a period outside of the periods set aside for ordinary sessions, a
session shall be legally opened for a period of fifteen days.
(3) There cannot be a new dissolution of the Assembly during the twelve months which follow
these elections.

Article 32 [Promulgation, Statutory Power, Appointments]

(1) The President of the Republic promulgates the laws within the time period determined by
Article 70
.
(2) He shall have statutory power and may delegate some or all of this power to the Prime
Minister.
(3) He shall appoint candidates to civil and military positions.

Article 33 [Countersignature] Decrees of statutory character are countersigned, if necessary, by the Prime Minister and the
ministers charged with their execution.

Article 34 [Commander-in-Chief] The President of the Republic is the Supreme Chief of the Armed Forces. He presides over
the Superior National Defense Councils and Committees.

Article 35 [Accrediting Ambassadors] The President of the Republic accredits ambassadors and special envoys from foreign
powers. Ambassadors and special envoys shall present their credentials to him.

Article 36 [Treaties] The President of the Republic signs and ratifies treaties.

Article 37 [Pardon] The President of the Republic has the right to grant clemency and the right to remit or
commute sentences.

Article 38 [Presidential Referendum] The President of the Republic, on any question of national
importance, may have recourse to the people through a referendum.

Article 39 [Emergency Measures]

(1) When an imminent peril threatens the institutions of the Republic, the security or the
independence of the Nation, or the integrity of its territory, and when the normal functioning of

the constitutional powers is impeded, the President of the Republic shall take the measures
required by these circumstances after official consultation with the Prime Minister and with
the Presidents of the Assemblies and of the Constitutional Council.
(2) He shall inform the nation by a message.
(3) These measures, inspired by the will to assure the re-establishment, as soon as possible,
of the continuous and regular functioning of the public powers, shall cease to be in effect in
the same form as soon as the circumstances that have caused them will no longer exist.
(3) Parliament shall meet in regular session.
(4) The National Assembly may not be dissolved while the President of the Republic is
exercising exceptional powers.

Article 40 [Interim Presidency]

(1) In the case of a vacancy or an incapacity declared to be absolute by the Constitutional
Council, the President of the Senate shall become the interim President of the Republic for
managing current business. The Prime Minister and the members of the government
considered as having resigned, shall assure the managing of current business. The interim
President may not discharge them from their functions. He may not have recourse to the
people through a referendum nor dissolve the National Assembly.
(2) Unless a case of force majeure is declared by the
Constitutional Council, the election of the new President of the Republic will take place within
three months from the declaration of vacancy or absolute incapacity.
(3) During the interim period, no constitutional modifications may be instituted either by
referendum or by parliamentary means.

Article 41 [Initiative] The Constitutional Council, in order to declare a vacancy or an absolute incapacity, shall be
informed by one of the following:
– The President of the Republic;
– The President of the National Assembly; or
– The Prime Minister.

Article 42 [Prime Minister’s Functions]

(1) The Prime Minister, under the authority of the President of the Republic, defines the policy
of the government.
(2) He divides the tasks among the ministers.
(3) He directs and coordinates the action of the government.

Article 43

(1) The government oversees the implementation of the general policy of the State in
accordance with the orientations and options determined by the President of the Republic.
(2) It is in charge of the administration and the Armed Forces.
(3) It oversees the publication and the execution of the laws and statutes.
(4) It is responsible to the Parliament according to the conditions and following the
procedures set forth in Articles 74
and 75 .
Article 44 [Governmental Incompatibilities] The functions of a member of the government are incompatible with the exercise of any
parliamentary mandate, with any function of professional representation of a national
character, with any professional activity, and in general with any public or private
employment. An organic law shall determine the conditions under which the holders of such
mandates, functions, or employment is replaced. The replacement of members of Parliament

shall take place according to the dispositions of Article 48 .
Title III Legislature
Article 45 [Parliament] The legislative power belongs to the Parliament.

Article 46 [Two Houses] The Parliament is composed of two representative assemblies: the National Assembly and
the Senate.

Article 47 [Term, Eligibility]

(1) The Deputies to the National Assembly are elected for five years by direct suffrage.
(2) The Senators are elected for six years by indirect suffrage. They are responsible for the
representation of the territorial districts of the Republic. Mauritanians residing abroad are
represented in the Senate. The Senators are renewed by one third every two years.
(3) All Mauritanian citizens who possess their civil and political rights are eligible to be
Deputies if they are at least twenty-five years old and are eligible to be Senators if they are at
least thirty-five years old.

Article 48

(1) An organic law shall determine the conditions for the
election of the members of Parliament, their number, their salary, their conditions of eligibility,
and the system of ineligibilities and incompatibilities.
(2) It shall also determine the conditions under which, in the case of a vacancy of a seat, the
persons called upon to replace deputies or senators shall be elected, until the complete or
partial renewal of the Assembly to which they belong.

Article 49 [Rulings on Elections] The Constitutional Council rules in cases where the regularity of an election of members of
parliament or their eligibility is contested.

Article 50 [Indemnity, Immunity]

(1) No member of Parliament may be prosecuted, pursued, arrested, detained, or tried
because of the opinions or votes voiced by him during the exercise of his functions.
(2) No member of Parliament, while Parliament is in session, may be prosecuted or arrested
for a criminal or penal matter, except with the authorization of the assembly to which he
belongs unless it is a case of flagrante delicto or authorized prosecution or a judicial
sentence.
(3) No member of Parliament, while Parliament is out of session, may be arrested, except
with the authorization of the office of the assembly to which he belongs unless it is a case of
flagrante delicto or authorized prosecution or a judicial sentence.
(4) The detention or prosecution of a member of Parliament is suspended if the assembly to
which he belongs demands it.

Article 51

(1) All mandatory votes are void.
(2) The right to vote by the members of Parliament is personal.
(3) The organic law, in exceptional circumstances, may authorize the delegation of votes.
(4) In this case, no one may receive the delegation of more than one vote.

(5) Any deliberation outside the hours of the Parliamentary sessions or outside the premises
of the Parliament are void. The President of the Republic may ask the Constitutional Council
to proclaim this state of nullity.
(6) The sessions of the National Assembly and of the Senate are public. The minutes of the
debates are published in the Official Journal.
(7) Each of the assemblies may meet in closed session upon request by the Government or
by one quarter of the members present.

Article 52 [Regular Sessions] The Parliament meets in regular session for two ordinary sessions each year. The first
ordinary session will convene during the first fortnight in November. The second will convene
during the first fortnight in May. The length of each ordinary session may not exceed two
months.

Article 53 [Special Sessions]

(1) The Parliament may meet in a special session at the request of the President of the
Republic or the majority of the members of the National Assembly for a specific agenda. The
length of a special session may not exceed one month.
(2) The special sessions shall be convened and adjourned by a decree of the President of the
Republic.

Article 54 [Government in Parliament] The members of the government have access to the two Assemblies. They are heard when
they so request. They may
be assisted by government commissioners.

Article 55 [Presidents of the Assemblies]

(1) The President of the National Assembly is elected for the duration of the legislature.
(2) The President of the Senate is elected after each partial renewal of the Senate.

Title IV Relations Between Legislature and Executive
Article 56 [Legislation] The laws are voted by the Parliament.

Article 57 [Competences]

(1) The following subjects are the domain of the law:
– fundamental rights and duties, especially the system of public freedoms, the safeguard of
individual freedoms, and the obligations imposed by national defense on citizens in their
person and on their property;
– nationality, the status and ability of persons, marriage, divorce, and inheritance;
– the conditions of settlement of persons and the regulation of aliens;
– the determination of crimes and misdemeanors as well as the sentences which are
applicable, penal procedure, amnesty, the creation and organization of tribunals, and the
regulation of magistrates;
– civil procedure and means of execution;
– customs regulation, regulation of coining of money, regulation of banks, credit, and
insurance;
– electoral regulations and the territorial division of the country;
– regulation of property, real rights, and civil and commercial obligations;
– general regulation of water, mines, and hydro-carbons, fishing and the merchant marine,

fauna, flora, and the environment;
– the protection and safeguard of the cultural and historical patrimony;
– general regulations concerning education and health;
– general regulations concerning workers rights, right to work, and social welfare;
– the general organization of the administration;
– the free administration of local districts, their jurisdiction, and their resources;
– the tax base, the tax rate, and the modes of collecting taxes of all kinds;
– the creation of categories of public establishments;
– the fundamental protection granted to civil and military employees as well as the general
regulation of the Civil Service;
– nationalizations of enterprises and the transfers of property from the public sector to the
private sector; and
– general regulations concerning the organization of the National Defense.
(2) The laws governing finances shall determine the resources and expenses of the State
within the conditions and subject to the reservations as set forth in an organic law.
(3) Laws and programs shall determine the objectives of the economic and social action of
the State.
(4) The provisions of the present article may be stipulated and completed by an organic law.

Article 58 [Declaration of War] The declaration of war shall be authorized by the Parliament.

Article 59 [Regulatory Power, Decrees]

(1) Matters other than those which are the domain of the law come under the regulatory
power.
(2) The texts in legislative form relating to these matters may be modified by decree if the
Constitutional Council declares that they have a regulatory character by virtue of the
preceding paragraph.

Article 60 [Ordinances]

(1) With the agreement of the President of the Republic, the government, in order to execute
its program, may ask the Parliament for the authorization for a limited period of time to pass
ordinances for measures which are normally in the domain of the law.
(2) These ordinances are passed in the Council of Ministers and require the approval of the
President of the Republic who signs them.
(3) They come into effect as soon as they are published, but they become void if the bill of
ratification is not presented to Parliament before the date set by the enabling law.
(4) With the expiration of the time limit mentioned in the first paragraph, the ordinances may
be modified only by the law, concerning matters which are in the legislative domain.
(5) The enabling law becomes void if the National Assembly is dissolved.

Article 61 [Legislative Initiative]

(1) The legislative initiative belongs jointly to the Government and to the members of
Parliament.
(2) Bills are debated in the Council of Ministers and brought to the desk of one of the two
assemblies. Finance bills are first submitted to the National Assembly.

Article 62 [Right of Amendment]

(1) The Government and the members of Parliament have the right of amendment.
(2) The bills or amendments proposed by the members of Parliament shall not be accepted
when their adoption would entail either a reduction in public revenues or the creation or

enlargement of public expenses unless they are accompanied by a bill for increasing
revenues or equivalent savings.
(3) They may be declared unacceptable when they bear upon a matter which comes under
the regulatory power by virtue of Article 59
or are contrary to a delegation granted by virtue of
Article 60
.
(4) If the Parliament disregards the objections raised by the Government by virtue of one of
the two preceding paragraphs, the President of the Republic has recourse to the
Constitutional Council which rules within a period of one week.

Article 63 [Text for Debate]

(1) The debate of a bill in the first assembly to which it is proposed pertains to the text of the
bill as presented by the government.
(2) An assembly presented with a bill voted on by the other assembly debates the bill which is
transmitted to it.

Article 64 [Committees]

(1) Draft laws and bills, at the request of the Government or of the assembly to which they
are referred, are sent for examination to committees specially set up for this purpose.
(2) Draft laws and hills for which such a request has not been made are sent to one of the
permanent committees whose number is limited to five in each assembly.

Article 65 [Government Bills]

(1) After debate has begun, the Government may oppose the consideration of any
amendment which has not previously been submitted to the Committee.
(2) If the Government requests, the concerned assembly may pass with a single vote all or
part of the bill under discussion retaining only the amendments proposed or accepted by the
Government.

Article 66 [Joint Conference]

(1) Any draft law or bill is examined in turn by the two assemblies with a view toward adopting
an identical text.
(2) In the case of a disagreement and when the government has declared a state of urgency,
the bill may be submitted after a single reading by each of the two assemblies to a joint
conference committee responsible for proposing a text concerning the provisions still being
discussed.
(3) This text may he submitted in the same manner to the two assemblies for adoption. In this
case no further amendments are accepted.
(4) If the joint conference committee is not able to propose a common text or if this text is not
adopted by the two assemblies, the Government, after a new reading by the two chambers,
may request the National Assembly to rule conclusively.

Article 67 [Majority, Constitutionality]

(1) The laws on which the Constitution confers the character of organic laws are voted on and
modified according to the following conditions.
(2) The suggested law or bill is submitted to debate and to a vote by the first assembly
consulted only after the expiration of a time period of fifteen days from when it is put forward.
(3) The procedure indicated in Article 66
is applicable. However, if there is no agreement
between the two assemblies, the text can be adopted in a last reading by the National
Assembly only with an absolute majority of its members.
(4) Organic laws concerning the Senate must be voted on in the same terms by the two

assemblies.
(5) Organic laws may he promulgated only after certification by the Constitutional Council of
their conformity with the Constitution.

Article 68 [Finance Bill, Budget, Audit Office]

(1) The Parliament votes on the finance bill.
(2) The Parliament considers the finance bill as soon as the November session is convened.
(3) If the National Assembly has not passed the bill after a first reading within thirty days after
the bill has been put forward, the Government consults the Senate which must rule within
fifteen days. Then, the procedure is followed under the conditions as set forth in Article 66
.
(4) If the Parliament has not voted on the budget by the end of the session or if it has not
voted a balanced budget, the Government sends the proposed budget within fifteen days to
the National Assembly convened in a special session.
(5) The National Assembly must rule within eight days. If the budget is not voted on at the
end of this time period, the President of the Republic passes the budget automatically
through an ordinance based on the revenues from the preceding year.
(6) The Parliament controls the administration of the State budget and supplementary
budgets. A statement of expenses will be provided to the Parliament at the end of each six-
month period for the previous six-month period. The final accounts of a mandate will be
registered during the course of the budgetary session for the following year and approved by
a law.
(7) An Audit Office assists the Parliament and the Government in its control of the
administration of the laws governing finances.

Article 69 [Agenda, Interpellation]

(1) The agenda of the assemblies shall include, by priority and in the order determined by the
Government, the discussion of the draft laws and bills accepted by the Government.
(2) One session per week by priority and in the order determined by the Government shall be
reserved for discussion of draft laws and bills accepted by the Government.
(3) One session per week shall be reserved by priority for questions by members of
Parliament and for the answers from the Government.

Article 70 [Promulgation]

(1) The President of the Republic shall promulgate the laws within a time period of eight days
at the earliest and thirty days at the latest, following the transmission to him of the laws by the
Parliament.
(2) During this period, the President may send back the draft law or bill for a second reading.
If the National Assembly decides on the adoption of the law by a majority of its members, the
law shall be promulgated and published during the time period indicated in the preceding
paragraph.

Article 71 [Martial Law, State of Emergency]

(1) Martial law and a state of emergency are decreed by the President of the Republic for a
maximum duration of thirty days.
(2) This duration may he changed by the Parliament. The Parliament convenes in regular
session if it is not in session at the time.
(3) The law defines the exceptional powers granted to the President of the Republic by the
declaration of martial law and a state of emergency.

Article 72 [Information] The Government is required to provide to the Parliament, in the form established by law, all

explanations requested concerning its management and its acts.
Article 73 [Governmental Report] The Prime Minister, once a year during the course of the November session, delivers a report
to the National Assembly about the activity of the Government during the past year and lays
out the general lines of his program for the coming year.

Article 74 [Responsibility, Motion of Censure]

(1) The Prime Minister, together with his ministers, is responsible to the National Assembly. A
lack of confidence or a motion of censure shall result in bringing into question his political
responsibility.
(2) The Prime Minister, after deliberation with the Council of Ministers, shall take the
responsibility of the Government before the National Assembly for his program and ultimately
for a declaration of general policy.
(3) The National Assembly may challenge the responsibility of the Government by voting a
motion of censure.
(4) A motion of censure brought by a deputy must expressly bear this title and the signature
of its author. Such a motion is acceptable only if it is signed by at least one third of the
members of the National Assembly. The vote may take place only forty-eight hours after
raising the question of the lack of confidence or the motion of censure.

Article 75 [Vote of No Confidence, Resignation]

(1) The vote of no confidence or the adoption of a motion of censure causes the immediate
resignation of the Government. Such a vote or motion can only be reached by a majority of
the deputies making up the National Assembly; only the votes of no
confidence or the votes favorable in the motion of censure shall be counted.
(2) The resigned government continues to manage current business unlit the nomination by
the President of the Republic of a new Prime Minister and a new Government.
(3) If a motion of censure is rejected, its signataries may not propose a new one during the
course of the same session except in the case set forth in the following paragraph.
(4) The Prime Minister, after deliberation with the Council of Ministers takes the responsibility
of the Government before the National Assembly for the voting of a bill. In this case, this bill
shall be considered adopted unless a motion of censure brought during the following twenty-
four hours shall be voted under the conditions set forth in the first paragraph.
(5) The Prime Minister may ask the Senate for the approval of a declaration of general policy.
Article 76 [Delayed Closure of Sessions] Closure of ordinary or special sessions shall be legally delayed in order to permit, if
necessary, the application of the provisions of Article 75
.
Article 77 [Dissolution after Resignation]

(1) If, during a period of less than thirty-six months, there have occurred two changes of
government following a vote of no confidence or a motion of censure, the President of the
Republic, after consulting with the President of the National Assembly, may declare the
dissolution of the National Assembly.
(2) In this case, there will be new elections within forty days at most. The new National
Assembly shall convene in regular session three weeks after its election.

Title V Treaties and International Accords
Article 78 [Ratification by Law]

(1) Peace treaties, union treaties, commerce treaties, treaties or accords concerning an
international organization, treaties which require the finances of the State, treaties which
modify provisions of a legislative nature, treaties concerning the status of persons, and
treaties concerning the borders of the State may only he ratified by a law.
(2) They may take effect only after being ratified or approved. No cession, no exchange, and
no annexation of territory is valid without the consent of the people who shall decide through
referendum.
(3) In the case set forth in the last paragraph of Article 2
, the required majority is four-fifths of
the votes cast.

Article 79 [Treaty After Constitutional Revision] If the Constitutional Council, consulted by the President of the Republic, by the President of
the National Assembly, by the President of the Senate, or by one third of the senators,
declares that an international agreement includes a clause contrary to the Constitution, the
authorization to ratify or to approve it may only occur after revision of the Constitution.

Article 80
Treaties and accords regularly ratified or approved, as soon as they are published have an
authority superior to that of laws contingent upon its application by the other party for each
accord or treaty.

Title VI Constitutional Council
Article 81 [Composition]

(1) The Constitutional Council is composed of six members whose mandate lasts nine years
and is not renewable. One third of the Constitutional Council shall be chosen every three
years. Three of the members shall be appointed by the President of the Republic, two by the
President of the National Assembly, and one by the President of the Senate.
(2) The members of the Constitutional Council must be at least thirty-five years old.
(3) They may not belong to the leadership of any political party. They enjoy parliamentary
immunity.
(4) The President of the Constitutional Council is appointed by the President of the Republic
from among the members whom he shall name. He has the deciding vote in the case of a tie.
Article 82 [Incompatibilities] The functions of a member of the Constitutional Council are incompatible with those of a
member of the Government or of Parliament. Any other incompatibilities shall be determined
by an organic law.

Article 83 [Functions]

(1) The Constitutional Council evaluates the legality of the election of the President of the
Republic.
(2) It examines challenges and announces the results of the election.

Article 84 [Judging Elections] In the case of a dispute, the Constitutional Council judges the legality of the election of the
deputies and the senators.

Article 85 [Evaluation of Referendum] The Constitutional Council evaluates the legality of the referendum and announces the

results.
Article 86 [Prior Constitutional Review]

(1) The organic laws, before they may be promulgated, and the regulations of the
parliamentary assemblies, before they may be applied, must be submitted to the
Constitutional Council which certifies that they are in conformity with the Constitution.
(2) For the same purpose, the laws, before they are promulgated, may be submitted to the
Constitutional Council by the President of the Republic, the President of the National
Assembly, the President of the Senate, or by one third of the deputies in the National
Assembly or by one third of the senators in the Senate.
(3) In the cases set forth in the two preceding paragraphs, the Constitutional Council must
rule within one month. However, at the request of the President of the Republic, if it is urgent,
this time limit is reduced to one week.
(4) In the same cases, the submission of a law to the Constitutional Council is suspends the
time limit for its promulgation.

Article 87 [Final and Binding Judgment]

(1) A provision which is declared unconstitutional may not be promulgated or put into
operation.
(2) The decisions of the Constitutional Council assume authority over the matters brought
before it.
(3) The decisions of the Constitutional Council are not subject to appeal. They must be
complied with by the public authorities and by all administrative and jurisdictional authorities.

Article 88 [Organizational Law] An organic law determines the rules governing the organization and the functioning of the
Constitutional Council, the procedure
which are being followed before it, and in particular the time limits for referring challenges to
it.

Title VII Judicature
Article 89 [Independence of Courts]

(1) The judicial branch shall be independent of the legislative branch and the executive
branch.
(2) The President of the Republic is the guarantor of the independence of the magistrature.
(3) He is assisted by the Superior Council of the Magistrature which he presides over.
(4) An organic law determines the status of the magistrature, its composition, and the
functioning and the prerogatives of the Superior Council of the Magistrature.

Article 90 [Independence of Judges]

(1) A judge shall obey only the law.
(2) In the exercise of his duties he shall be protected against all forms of pressure of a nature
to impair his free will.

Article 91 [Personal Liberty]

(1) No one may be detained arbitrarily.
(2) The judicial branch, the guardian of individual liberty, is responsible for respecting this

principle under the conditions established by law.
Title VIII High Court of Justice
Article 92 [Constitution]

(1) There is instituted a High Court of Justice.
(2) It is composed of members elected from its midst and in equal number by the National
Assembly and the Senate after each complete or partial renewal of these assemblies. It
elects its president from among its members.
(3) An organic law determines the composition of the High Court of Justice and the rules
governing its functioning as well as the procedure applicable before it.

Article 93 [Liability of Government]

(1) The President of the Republic is held liable for the acts committed in the exercise of his
duties only in the case of high treason.
(2) He may be impeached only by the two assemblies voting together in a public vote by an
absolute majority of the members; he is tried before the High Court of Justice.
(3) The Prime Minister and the members of the government are held criminally liable for the
acts committed in the exercise of their duties and defined as crimes or misdemeanors at the
time they were committed. The procedure defined above is applicable to them as well as to
their accomplices in the case of a conspiracy against the security of the State. In the case set
forth in the present paragraph the High Court of Justice is bound by the definition of crimes
and misdemeanors, as well as by the determination of sentences resulting from the penal
laws in force at the time the acts were committed.

Title IX Consultative Institutions
Article 94 [High Islamic Council]

(1) There shall be instituted next to the President of the Republic a High Islamic Council
composed of five members.
(2) The President and the other members of the High Islamic Council are appointed by the
President of the Republic.
(3) The High Islamic Council meets at the request of the President of the Republic.
(4) It formulates opinions concerning the questions about which it has been consulted by the
President of the Republic.

Article 95 [Economic and Social Council]

(1) The Economic and Social Council, when consulted by the President of the Republic,
offers advice about the draft laws, ordinances, or decrees of an economic or social character
as well as the bills of the same nature which have been submitted to it.
(2) The Economic and Social Council may designate one of its members to lay before the
parliamentary assemblies the opinion of the Council concerning the draft laws or bills which
have been submitted to it.

Article 96 [General Economic Advice] The Economic and Social Council may also be consulted by the President of the Republic
about any question of economic or social character concerning the State. Any plan or
proposed law of a economic or social character shall be submitted to it for advice.

Article 97 [Organizational Law on Economic and Social Council]

The composition of the Economic and Social Council and the rules governing its functioning
shall be determined by an organic law.

Title X Territorial Districts
Article 98 [Communes, Electoral Law]

(1) The territorial districts are the communes as well as other entities which the law
designates as such.
(2) These districts are administered by councils elected under the conditions established by
law.

Title XI Constitutional Revision
Article 99 [Initiative, Majority, Limits]

(1) The initiative for a revision of the Constitution belongs jointly to the President of the
Republic and to the members of Parliament. No proposed revision presented by the
members of Parliament may be debated if it has not been signed by at least one third of the
members of one of the assemblies.
(2) Any proposed revision must be passed by a two-thirds majority of the deputies in the
National Assembly and a two-thirds majority of the senators in the Senate in order for it being
submitted for a referendum.
(3) No procedure for revision may be initiated if it challenges the existence of the State or
undermines the integrity of the territory, the republican form of government, or the pluralist
character of Mauritanian democracy.

Article 100 [Referendum] The revision of the Constitution is complete when approved by a simple majority of the votes
cast in a referendum.

Article 101 [Congress] However, the proposed revision is not presented for a referendum when the President of the
Republic has decided to submit it to the Parliament convened in congress; in this case, the
proposed revision is approved only if it receives a three-fifths majority of the votes cast. The
bureau of the Congress is that of the National Assembly.

Title XII Transitional Provisions
Article 102 [Establishment of Institutions] The establishment of the institutions set forth in the present Constitution begins three months
at the latest after its promulgation and is concluded nine months at the latest after its
promulgation.

Article 103 [Military Committee, Party and Press Laws]

(1) While waiting for the establishment of the institutions set forth in the present Constitution,
power shall be exercised in conformity with the provisions of the Constitutional Charter of the
Military Committee of National Salvation of 9 Feb 1985.
(2) The Military Committee of National Salvation has decided, in addition, that the regulatory
texts concerning the freedom of organizing political parties and the freedom of the press shall
be adopted two weeks at the latest after the adoption of the Constitution.

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