Tackling this issue requires taking a look at the current scene in Mauritania, since the latter impacts the situation of the country in the future, including the factors that may affect the functioning of the democratic process, either positively or negatively.
Mauritania is currently going through an abnormal political phase, following the Dakar agreement, which resulted in an accord to form a government of national unity to take up management issues right now, waiting for the elections to be organized a week from now.
The electoral campaigns are witnessing an intense competition between ten candidates. Observers bet on the victory of one of the four most powerful candidates, namely: the two military officers, General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and former president and leader of the 2005 coup Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, and the two civilian candidates, Ahmed Ould Daddah and Messaoud Ould Boulkheir. These last three candidates share the same position of rejecting the last coup led by the candidate Ould Abdel Aziz; they even stood against him with all their power over the past ten months.
This rejection comforts people who are afraid of seeing the coups occur again if one of these three candidates wins, but observers have linked this with the success of the candidate chosen by the people in building a democratic State based on building a nation of institutions that could never have continued since the overthrow of the first president of the country at the end of the seventies of the last century, when the country witnessed a series of successive coups.
The primary issue for the future President is building a State of law where everyone is equal, also known as the “welfare State that protects its citizens and makes it easy for them to satisfy their basic needs”. The absence of this condition weakens the prestige of the State and diminishes faith in it, because the consolidation of democracy requires the existence of a “middle class” whose benefit is associated with establishing the rules of a State of law that is keen to monitor the work of public institutions and incite them to perform their duties.
These steps would also change the Bedouin mentality of the citizens who are not used to the existence of an authority that cares for their affairs, and got used to authoritarian provisions instead.
Under these circumstances, the military organization seizes the opportunity to attack the governing authority under the pretext of corruption of power, deviation, cronyism…
To avoid such pitfalls as much as possible, the future president should implement the following steps:
- Improving the situation of the army and keeping it out of politics since it should follow the orders of the elected authorities according to the requirements of the Constitution. This was expressed by the resigned President Sidi Ould Sheikh Abdullah, “the army must be republican, defend the security of the country and its territorial possession and, in certain cases, participate in programs that serve the public interest and which are defined by the President of the Republic as the highest authority”.
- Each institution should perform the function assigned to it.
- Equality of all citizens before the law.
- Giving priority to education and promoting the culture of innovation.
- Achieving a level of growth that ensures meeting most of the basic needs of citizens.
The protection of democracy can not be ensured if it’s not accompanied with concrete social and economic developments.
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