Crawl Across the Ocean

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Follow-Up on Mauritania

A few months ago, I posted on the military coup in Mauritania. Since it has been a few months, and you hear little about Mauritania on the news, I thought I'd look around for an update on the situation. The best summary I found was by Jonathan at The Head Heeb,
"There is a great deal that can go wrong between now and the elections, but the military, which has already handed day-to-day authority to a civilian cabinet, seems thus far to be taking its self-imposed democratization mandate seriously."

Like Jonathan says, so far, the military junta in control of the country is continuing to say and do the right things to reassure people that they are serious about their intent to try and bring true democracy to Mauritania, but as any Canadian (or Iraqi) can attest, a country with longstanding ethnic divisions and newly discovered oil isn't always the easiest place to hold together. And of course, there is no shortage of past examples of military coup victors who promised democracy but got cold feet when the time came to hand over real power.

Still, I wish them luck, and I'll try to keep an eye out for future developments: the current schedule is a constitutional referendum in June-July 2006, municipal elections in October 2006, elections for a new a parliament in April 2007, a vote for the senate in May 2007 and presidential elections in June 2007.


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