RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHMOS RUEHPA
DE RUEHNK #0487/01 1160955
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 260955Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5410
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0239
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0277
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 0428
RUEHBAD/AMCONSUL PERTH 0241
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 0191 C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 NOUAKCHOTT 000487
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/25/2016
SUBJECT: MAURITANIA STILL SHORT $4-$5 MILLION FOR ELECTIONS
REF: NOUAKCHOTT 409
Classified By: Amb. Joseph LeBaron, Reasons 1.4 (b),(d)
(U) Key Points
-- A donors' roundtable organized by the African Union and
Mauritania's transitional government met April 25 to solicit
more funds for Mauritania's electoral transition. The
funding drive has been successful, but Mauritania is still
$4-$5 million shy of the $22.5 million total election budget
-- Mauritania said it will be able to pay 30% of the costs.
(Current contribution amounts by country are provided below.)
-- Ambassador used the Roundtable to announce locally the
U.S. contribution to Mauritania's transition to democracy:
approximately $1 million through contributions to the UNDP
Basket Fund, the National Democratic Institute, and through
use of discretionary Embassy funds (such as SSH, DHRF, and
-- The Minister of Interior acknowledged that "a lot still
needed to be done" to resolve problems associated with
issuing the national ID cards required for voter registration
-- Virtually every speaker, including the AU co-chair,
praised without reservation the transitional government's
progress towards free and fair elections.
-- One can, of course, cynically dismiss this event as a
routine tin cup, feel-good exercise. But the Roundtable was
actually quite significant for the Mauritanians, and local
media coverage was extensive.
-- For the Mauritanians, the Roundtable symbolized the
international community's recognition that something quite
rare in the 46-year history of the Islamic Republic is
underway: a good-faith effort by the state to organize free
and fair elections and to strengthen democratic institutions,
including political parties.
-- Mauritanians crave such recognition and favorable
attention, and the Roundtable provided it. For the moment,
all the census problems, inter-communal tensions, and White
Moor dominance issues were set aside to focus on all the good
things that are happening here.
End Key Points and Comments.
1. (U) An African Union (AU) sponsored Donors' Roundtable met
in Nouakchott April 25 to solicit funds for Mauritania's
electoral transition. Attendees included the AU, EU, UN,
International Organization of Francophone Countries (OIF),
and various Ambassadors and representatives from European,
African, Middle East and Asian countries.
2. (U) The government presented a figure of 22,535,166 USD to
fund the entire electoral process, through the March 2007
Presidential elections. This figure was broken into the 12
categories listed below. These estimates are based on the
assumption that there will be approximately 1,350,000
eligible voters, 3,375 polling locations all staffed by a
representative of the National Independent Electoral
Commission, and that the list of registered voters will be
opened prior to the Presidential elections to allow for
additional registrants to be added.
National Independent Electoral Commission - 7,085,111 USD
NOUAKCHOTT 00000487 002 OF 003
Civil Registry Assistance (ex: birth certificates) - 656,295
Ministry of Justice Assistance - 92,384 USD
Production of National Identity Cards - 350,689 USD
Public Funding of Political Parties and the Press - 1,674,746
Census / Voter Registration - 3,783,655 USD
Election Referendum - June 2006 - 1,908,242 USD
Legislative and Municipal Elections - November 2006 -
Senatorial Elections - January 2007 - 93,638 USD
Presidential Elections - March 2007 - 2,421,150 USD
Technical Assistance - 1,060,500 USD
Management - 1,010,949 USD
3. (U) Governmental officials said that with the financial
commitments currently received or committed to, and the
government's budgeting of 6,029,583 USD for elections -- 30
percent of the total estimated costs -- 7,192,864 USD
remained unfunded at the beginning of the Roundtable.
Following the commitments made during the Roundtable by the
countries listed below, the shortfall remains between
4,000,000 and 5,000,000 USD, depending on how one assesses
U.S. - 200,000 USD
Japan - 1,137,000 USD
Germany - 500,000 Euro
Senegal - 200,000 USD
African Union - 100,000 USD
4. (U) At the Roundtable the UN also committed to give an
additional 300,000 USD for programming to help better
integrate women into the political transition process.
5. (U) The list of donors and contributions received or
committed to prior to the Roundtable was as follows:
UNDP - 1,060,500 USD for technical assistance
EU - 6,000,000 Euro
France - 500,000 Euro
Spain - 500,000 Euro
The Netherlands - 250,000 Euro
Egypt - 17,000 USD
WHAT TO DO WITH THE SHORTFALL
6. (U) The government and AU representatives thanked
attendees for their "generosity" and "commitment to ensuring
the success of the transition," adding that "we will need
continued assistance to ensure the success of our efforts."
The Minister of Finance Abdallahi Ould Souleymane Ould Cheikh
Sidiya added that the government will look to "pre-finance"
any commitments that are not received in time, but said the
details of such a move would need to be determined in the
UNDP Basket Fund Steering Committee meeting -- in which the
U.S. will now have a permanent seat following the 200,000 USD
NOUAKCHOTT 00000487 003 OF 003
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