The Mauritanian society, like most other Arab societies, is a patriarchal and male dominated society in which the culture of despotism and totalitarianism prevails since ancient times; but it’s different in comparison to those societies by its women’s strong influence on the social level. This kind of context is resistant by nature to the creation of the democratic system.
However, despite these socio-cultural constraints, a genuine democratic experience had occurred in Mauritania. This experience had many stumbles and recurrent reversions, the last of which was on 6 June 2008, with the overthrow of a system that was supposed to be democratic as it was derived from the ballot box. Many factors led to the fall of this regime, but there is not enough room to list them here.
It is enough to say that the main reasons for the fall of democratic regimes in Mauritania lie in the fragility of the political parties, the lack of intellectual references, and the absence of an ideological distinction between political parties on the national scene, and therefore the absence of community projects inspired by well-defined philosophies. That is also due to the weakness of civil society organizations, the ineffectiveness of social partners, and the poor performance of political actors. Add to that the low political awareness and the shallowness of the democratic culture.
From this standpoint, the approach that the next President of the country should adopt in order to create a foundation for the continuity of democracy, the consolidation of its institutions and the creation of an appropriate climate for its growth and rooting, must be based on:
- Reformulating the national political map in order to establish political formations based on differentiated and heterogeneous philosophical and ideological references, in order to put an end to the phenomenon of chaotic political peregrination that is pervasive among the political class.
- Activating civil society, and developing the mechanisms that will ensure its involvement in the management of public affairs.
- Enabling social partners, economic actors, opinion leaders and intellectuals to enter the decision-making circles, and participate actively in the formulation of the fate of the country.
- Ensuring the separation of powers, consolidating the superiority of law and rooting the independence of justice.
- Working hard on the generalization of political awareness, and the wide reinforcement of the culture of citizenship among people.
These measures, that cannot be easily transformed into concrete steps overnight and which require massive efforts and sustained perseverance, are – in our view – the only ones that can make people acquire the democratic experience to be had in the country, and make them come to its defense, maintain it and protect it from abusers.
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