Saturday, July 18, 2009
Elections in Mauritania
Mauritanians head to the polls today in landmark presidential elections. The front runner is Ould Abdel Aziz, former junta leader who is running on a platform based on populism and being anti-Israel. Ould Abdel Aziz has also called for an end to corruption and instituting principles for good governance. According to recent polls, General Ould Abdel Aziz is trailed by Ahmed Ould Dada and Messaoud Ould Boulkheir. The former's agenda emphasizes the morals and values of "justice, equity, tolerance." Ould Boulkheir has espoused ideals of democracy and human rights, and has pledged his support for trade unions. There are high hopes that the elections will "renew lost trust" with Mauritanians after the 2008 coup that toppled the government of democratically-elected president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.