Opposition Parties were legalised and a new constitution approved in 1991 which put an end to formal military rule. However,Ould Taya's election were dismissed as fraudulentby both opposition groups and external observors. In 1998, Mauritania became the third Arab country to recognize Israel, despite strong internal opposition.
In 2001, elections incorporated more safeguards against voter fraud but opposition candidate (and former leader)Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidallah was neverthless arrested prior to election day on charges of planning a coup,released the same day, and re-arrested after the election. Attempted military coups and unrest instigated by Islamist opponentsof the regime marred the early years of the 21st century, and the Taya regime's heavy-handedcrackdowns were criticised by human rights groups.
On 8 June, afailed coup attempt was made against President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmaed Taya by forces unhappy with hia imprisonment of Islamic leaders in the wake of the US-led invasion of Iraq and his establishment of full diplomatic relations with Israel. The coup was suppressed after one day fighting in the capital where pro-Taya military forces arrived from the country side. A number of govt. officials were detained after the coup including the head of the supreme court and the secretary of statefor womens affairs.But ultimately Taya became a victim in the coup held on 3 Aug, 2005. and an election was held on March 2007. On Aug 6,2008, by another coup by senior Mauritanian military officer and President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallah was arrested.