Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06NOUAKCHOTT745
2006-06-14 16:18:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Nouakchott
Cable title:  

NDI NEEDS HELP AS ELECTION CLOCK TICKS DOWN

Tags:  PREL PGOV PHUM PINR EAID KPAO MR 
pdf how-to read a cable
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RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0283
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NOUAKCHOTT 000745 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/13/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PINR EAID KPAO MR
SUBJECT: NDI NEEDS HELP AS ELECTION CLOCK TICKS DOWN

REF: A. NOUAKCHOTT 695


B. NOUAKCHOTT 151

Classified By: Amb. Joseph LeBaron, Reasons 1.4 (b),(d)

--------------
(C) Key Points
--------------

-- In a meeting with Ambassador June 9, NDI reps warned that
funding problems were threatening NDI's future plans to help
Mauritania successfully transition to democracy.

-- "We have been able to shoestring some good programs
together...but if the funding delays we are facing now
continue...significant opportunities will be lost."

-- Rep told Ambassador NDI would "reach out to the Carter
Center" to explore a possible election monitoring partnership.

------------
(C) Comments
------------

-- The Embassy is doing all it can to seize the major
opportunity here for the USG to strongly and directly
influence the development of democracy in Mauritania.

-- NDI plays a critically important role in that USG effort,
and the Embassy urges that NDI's funding requests be met as
soon as possible. The election clock is ticking.

-- If the Mauritanians get it right, in terms of the series
of elections they have planned, then Mauritania could serve
as an example to both Arabs and Africans elsewhere. At least
that is what the Mauritanians themselves want. We should
help them set an example.

End Key Points and Comments.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NOUAKCHOTT 000745

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/13/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PINR EAID KPAO MR
SUBJECT: NDI NEEDS HELP AS ELECTION CLOCK TICKS DOWN

REF: A. NOUAKCHOTT 695


B. NOUAKCHOTT 151

Classified By: Amb. Joseph LeBaron, Reasons 1.4 (b),(d)

--------------
(C) Key Points
--------------

-- In a meeting with Ambassador June 9, NDI reps warned that
funding problems were threatening NDI's future plans to help
Mauritania successfully transition to democracy.

-- "We have been able to shoestring some good programs
together...but if the funding delays we are facing now
continue...significant opportunities will be lost."

-- Rep told Ambassador NDI would "reach out to the Carter
Center" to explore a possible election monitoring partnership.

--------------
(C) Comments
--------------

-- The Embassy is doing all it can to seize the major
opportunity here for the USG to strongly and directly
influence the development of democracy in Mauritania.

-- NDI plays a critically important role in that USG effort,
and the Embassy urges that NDI's funding requests be met as
soon as possible. The election clock is ticking.

-- If the Mauritanians get it right, in terms of the series
of elections they have planned, then Mauritania could serve
as an example to both Arabs and Africans elsewhere. At least
that is what the Mauritanians themselves want. We should
help them set an example.

End Key Points and Comments.


1. (U) On June 9, National Democratic Institute (NDI) Senior
Program Officer for the Middle East and North Africa Jeffrey
England briefed Ambassador on the status of NDI's efforts to
help Mauritania transition to democracy.

--------------
WAITING FOR FUNDING
--------------


2. (C) England told Ambassador that "we have been able to
shoestring some good programs together with the NED (National
Endowment for Democracy) money we've received, but we will
need additional funding to get to the next step." England
described some of NDI's recent efforts, including the
political party public financing proposal and the two-day

Women's Forum (ref A),saying that he hoped "these successes
would attract the additional funding needed to get things
rolling."


3. (C) England said NDI was still waiting for $500,000 in
Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) funding and
$250,000 in USAID money. "We were optimistic following the
Pittman delegation (ref B) that these funds would be quickly
allocated," England said, adding that "we're not sure why,
but things have stalled and were now unsure of what funding
will come or when."


4. (C) England expressed concern for the funding implications
for NDI programming both before and after the elections.
"You know NDI believes in the long haul," England told
Ambassador, adding that "what happens before the elections is
just as important as what happens after, and if the funding
delays we are facing now continue during our post election
efforts, I'm afraid significant opportunities will be lost."

-------------- - --------------
MAURITANIAN SUCCESS: AN EXAMPLE FOR AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST
-------------- - --------------


5. (C) England strongly agreed with Ambassador that
Mauritania's current democratic transition presented "an
enormous opportunity...for Mauritania and the region." "If

NOUAKCHOTT 00000745 002 OF 002


the democratic transition is successful," England said,
"Mauritania would be an important model for other Islamic
countries moving towards Democracy." "This model has become
even more important of late, given significant democratic
setbacks in the Arab world, including IRI being asked to
leave Egypt and NDI being asked to leave Bahrain," England
said. "We don't want to see these same rollbacks here, and
we'll keep probing under rocks for ways to keep our programs
going," England concluded.


6. (C) Ambassador told England that "Mauritania's receptivity
to international assistance gives NDI a unique opportunity to
get involved here to help ensure the success of the
transition," but cautioned that "this receptivity is
transitory," and must be seized by NDI promptly.


--------------
--------------
ELECTION MONITORING: NDI LOOKS TOWARDS PARTNERSHIP WITH
CARTER CENTER
--------------
--------------


7. (C) Responding to Ambassador's question about having US
election monitors for the coming municipal and presidential
elections, England said that "NDI partnered with the Carter
Center during the Liberian and Palestinian elections, and
could look towards such an election monitoring partnership
here as well." Ambassador encouraged England to "look for
such partnerships and collaboration" in NDI's efforts in
Mauritania. England said that upon his return to Washington
he would "discuss the opportunities" with NDI's election team
and "reach out to the Carter Center."
LeBaron