November 23, 2006


MAURITANIA: Another step in democratic transition (IRIN, 11/23/06)

Provisional results from historic legislative and municipal elections in Mauritania indicated on Thursday that opposition parties that had defied the country's previous military regime had made a strong showing.

The Rally of Democratic Forces (RDF), which struggled against former military ruler Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya, won 12 of 43 National Assembly seats in the 19 November polls. Sixty-three percent of municipal posts went to opposition parties, mainly in urban areas.

Other parties that opposed the Taya government won seven assembly seats. They include the Progressive Popular Alliance, which represents former slaves who say they remain marginalised. Slavery was formally abolished in Mauritania in 1981.

Mauritania follows in the footsteps of West African neighbours Mali, Niger and Nigeria in introducing elections as part of a transition to democracy after military officers ousted authoritarian regimes or took over after their leader died.

Kind of embarrassing that even Africa is stealing a march on the Middle East.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 23, 2006 6:32 PM
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