Sahrawi National Council

المجلس الوطني الصحراوي
Consejo Nacional Saharaui
12th Period
Coat of arms or logo
Preceded byDjema'a
Hamma Salama, Polisario Front
since 16 March 2020
Seats51 members
Political groups
  Polisario Front (51)
  • Social and Economic Affairs
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Defense
  • Occupied Territories and Sahrawi Community Abroad
  • Information and Culture
  • Legal and Administrative Affairs
Single non-transferable vote
Last election
8–9 April 2023
Meeting place
Sahrawi refugee camps or Tifariti

The Sahrawi National Council (SNC; Arabic: المجلس الوطني الصحراوي, Spanish: Consejo Nacional Saharaui) or Sahrawi Parliament is the legislature of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Its structure and competences are guided by the Constitution of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). The present speaker since 2020 is Hamma Salama.

It was first created by Polisario Front members and Sahrawi tribal notables as the Provisionary National Council in April or November 1975, after the proclamation of Guelta Zemmur. On February 27, 1976, POLISARIO leader El-Ouali Mustapha Sayed announced that the Council had declared the creation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, of which it became the first parliament. On the POLISARIO's III General Popular Congress (August 26–30, 1976), a newly elected membership was formally installed as the Sahrawi National Council.

The SNC is a unicameral body, with 53 seats,[2] elected every two years (since the XIII POLISARIO Congress[3]) at the General Popular Congresses by delegates from the Sahrawi refugee camps at Tindouf province, Algeria, supplemented by representatives of the Sahrawi People's Liberation Army and the civil society organizations (UJSARIO, UNMS, UGTSARIO).[4] In the last election (2012), 35% of the parliamentarians were women. It usually convenes in Tifariti, at the Liberated Territories of Western Sahara, but on occasion also in the refugee camps.

Among the reforms enacted by the SNC is the abolishment of death penalty. In 1999, the SNC caused the fall of then Prime Ministers Mahfoud Ali Beiba government through a motion of no-confidence. The powers of the SNC were substantially expanded in the 1991 constitutional reforms of the SADR, and has since been further enhanced.

List of presidents of the Sahrawi National Council

Below is a list of presidents of the Sahrawi Provisional National Council:

Name Image Took office Left office Notes
Mohamed Ould Ziou 28 November 1975 August 1976 [5]
Khatri Addouh, president and speaker of the Sahrawi National Council, during a speech at the Asamblea de Extremadura, Spain, 26 July 2012.

Below is a list of presidents of the Sahrawi National Council:

Name Image Took office Left office Notes
Sidi Ahmed Ould Mohamed Mahmoud August 1976 September 1978 [6][7]
El-Kenti Ould Jouda September 1978 1984 [8]
Hamoudi Ould Ahmed Baba ? – 1985 1986 [9]
Mohamed Ould Mubarek Ould Rahal 1986 1987 – ? [10][11]
Mohamed Lamine Ould Ahmed ? ?
Abdelkader Taleb Omar 1995 1999 [12][13]
Salem Lebsir 20 October 1999 2003 [14][15]
Mahfoud Ali Beiba 2003 2 July 2010 [16]
Mbarek Lehdeib 2 July 2010 10 July 2010 Acting
Khatri Addouh 10 July 2010 16 March 2020 [17]
Hamma Salama 16 March 2020 Present [18]
2005 drawing plan of the future building of the Sahrawi National Council in Tifariti, Liberated Territories.
Composition of the Sahrawi National Council
Party Seats
Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro 53
Total 53

International membership

The Sahrawi National Council is a member of the Pan-African Parliament.[19] Since October 14, 2011, the SNC is a permanent observer member of the Andean Parliament.[20]


  1. ^ "La República Árabe Saharaui Democrática (RASD)" [The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)]. (in Spanish). Retrieved 2023-11-09 – via Una mirada al Sáhara Occidental.
  2. ^ "The Constitution of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on February 27, 2021. Article 77: The National Council shall have 53 (fifty three) members.
  3. ^ "Elections of the Saharawi National Council on Feb 21st (official)". SPS. 22 January 2012. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Formation of a committee to oversee elections of the Saharawi National Council (Presidential Decree)". SPS. 2012-01-16. Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
  5. ^ "Saharawi people marks 40th anniversary of outbreak of armed struggle tomorrow". SPS. 19 May 2013. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  6. ^ Hacene-Djaballah, Belkacem (December 27, 1985). "Conflict in Western Sahara: a study of Polisario as an insurgency movement". Catholic University of America – via Google Books.
  7. ^ "SPSC Letter". Saharan Peoples Support Committee. December 27, 1980 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ "Africa Research Bulletin". Blackwell. December 27, 1982 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "West Africa". West Africa Publishing Company Limited. October 27, 1985 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ "African defence journal". The Journal. December 27, 1986 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ "Summary of World Broadcasts: Far East". Monitoring Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. December 27, 1987 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ "WESTERN SAHARA – weekly news 1997 – week 45".
  13. ^ "weeks 31–32".
  14. ^ "WESTERN SAHARA – weekly news 2002– week 13+14".
  15. ^ "WESTERN SAHARA – weekly news 1999 – week 42".
  16. ^ "WESTERN SAHARA – weekly news 2007, weeks 23–24".
  17. ^ "Khatri Adduh re-elected as speaker of the Parliament". Sahara Press Service. 2012-02-28. Archived from the original on 2015-01-09. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
  18. ^ "Parliament". SADR Embassy in Botswana. 6 November 2019.
  19. ^ Pan-African Parliament Members Archived 2008-03-12 at the Wayback Machine Pan-African Parliament
  20. ^ "Venezuela es invitada por el Parlamento Andino a volver a la Comunidad Andina" (in Spanish). Parlamento Andino – Oficina de Comunicaciones. 2011-10-14. Archived from the original on 2011-12-16. Retrieved 2011-10-29.

See also