Print this article   Email this to a friend


Mauritania: the need for democracy

30 May 2012

The situation in Mauritania continues to be of great concern to the Socialist International. Under the current regime of Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Mauritania is suffering from a serious institutional crisis, a political impasse, the failure of the state to deliver to its citizens, deteriorating living conditions, and the mismanagement and misappropriation of national resources.

Joining forces to bring about change from the current regime, 11 opposition parties have formed the Coordination of Democratic Opposition (COD) to unify their efforts in favour of democratic change. The Assembly of Democratic Forces (RFD), an SI member party under the leadership of Ahmed Ould Daddah, has for more than two decades been at the forefront of calls for genuinely free and fair elections and a democratic way out of the crisis.

The non-compliance with the dates fixed by Mauritanian law for the holding of legislative and municipal elections has effectively plunged Mauritania into a constitutional crisis. The constitution of Mauritania limits the mandate of deputies to five years, a term which expired in November 2011. As a result, for seven months the National Assembly has been legislating outside of the legal framework.

The result is that the National Assembly is now constitutionally void of all its powers, rending the parliamentary majority illegitimate. Despite this, the regime continues to exercise power with impunity and showing complete disregard for the constitution and electoral timetable of Mauritania.

In order to bring about an end to this crisis and deadlock, the COD has proposed that a transitional government take power. Such an administration would include representatives from all parties, with the goal of preparing elections to allow Mauritania’s political institutions to regain their legitimacy. These elections would be organised in their entirety by a consensus-based Independent National Election Commission (CENI). The results of these elections must be validated by an equally consensus-based Constitutional Council. These two conditions are indispensable in order to finally have a truly transparent and fair vote.

For many years, ordinary Mauritanians have suffered as a consequence of political mismanagement. Massive unemployment, steep rises in the price of essential products and extremely limited healthcare provisions paint a picture of a catastrophic social situation. These shortfalls, combined with a failing national education system, close horizons and have left many Mauritanians without the opportunity to fulfil their potential and make a better life for themselves.

Citizens across the country are expressing their dissatisfaction. The efforts of the RFD and COD have successfully mobilised democratic activists to call for respect of their rights and opportunities. The recent removal of autocratic and anti-democratic regimes in the Arab world and western Africa have equally given impetus to demands for true democracy in Mauritania.

Throughout this turbulent period, the Socialist International has continued to express its full support and solidarity to the RFD and all democrats in Mauritania. In this moment where democratic change is sweeping the Arab world, we are convinced that in Mauritania too, democracy will open the way for a fairer, more prosperous and more secure future.


Socialist International

Report to the XXV SI Congress


Press coverage


SI in the News








in MemOriaM


Etienne Tshisekedi
1932 - 2017



Mário Soares
1924 - 2017

in memoriam

Charif Fayyad
Former Secretary General of the PSP, Lebanon
1937 - 2016


Member parties in government

List of SI member parties in government 


in MeMoriAM


Shimon Peres

1923 - 2016

Finances of the InternationAl

Budget and accounts


Michael Rocard

1930 - 2016

Member Party Congresses

in memorIam



in memORIAM


Mohamed Abdelaziz 
1947 - 2016

in memoRiam




2 April 2017

The Gambia
6 April 2017

9 April 2017

23 April 2017

11 June 2017


World Refugee Day


Report of the Secretary General

Resolutions and Decisions of the XXIV Congress



In support of democracy in Uganda

22 FEBRUARY 2016

In recent years the people of Africa have continued advancing and moving forward democratic governance in an important number of countries of the region. Today, more and more people in that continent enjoy freedoms and rights, a precondition for progress, development and peace. Members of the Socialist International in a good number of countries in Africa have been protagonists and actors of an era of change that has been bringing new opportunities and a new face to the political life of the continent. Nevertheless, authoritarianism, oppression and other evils of the past still linger in the political life of some of the countries in the region...


SI condemns terrorist attack in Ouagadougou

16 JANUARY 2016

The Socialist International vigorously condemns the terrorist attack carried out last night in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, which has left 28 people dead from many different countries, responsibility for which has been claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims. 126 hostages were rescued by security forces following an operation to reclaim the hotel where the attack happened, during which a number of terrorists were killed. The Socialist International expresses its wholehearted solidarity with newly elected President Roch Marc Kaboré who assumed office at the end of December...


SI solidarity with Mali and President Keita following terrorist attack in Bamako

20 NOVEMBER 2015

The Socialist International is deeply saddened by the barbarous terrorist attack in Bamako early this morning, which has resulted in the death of numerous civilians in a hotel in the capital. Our heartfelt thoughts and condolences are with all those who are suffering and grieving as a result of this cowardly act of terror against innocent people with no chance to defend themselves. This attack is also an attack against democracy and against the efforts of the government and people of Mali to move the country forward. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is a leader that has made us all proud in our International, for his statesmanship, courage and commitment to securing a way forward for peace, democracy and economic progress for all the peoples of Mali...


Socialist International congratulates San Suu Kyi and NLD on historic election results

13 NOVEMBER 2015

The Socialist International warmly congratulates Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy, NLD, on their historic victory following general elections held in Myanmar on 8 November. The results of these elections, in which close to 30 million people were eligible to vote, already show that with 80% of the contested seats now declared, the NLD have more than the two thirds needed to choose the President and put an end to more than 50 years of military rule. These elections, despite the role and influence of the military, has been seen as the first openly contested poll in Myanmar in twenty five years, when the NLD won by a large majority in national elections in 1990 but Aung San Suu Kyi was prevented from taking office by the military and spent several long periods under house arrest, which only ended in 2010....


Socialist International condemns terrorist attacks in Paris

14 NOVEMBER 2015

The Socialist International is deeply shocked and saddened by the horrific multiple terrorist attacks carried out last night in Paris by ISIS, which have left 129 dead and many injured. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims, our sympathy to all those who endured this heinous crime, and our solidarity with the entire French nation as it comes to terms with these events. The Socialist International underscores its firm support for and solidarity with President Hollande and his government as he firmly and decisively acts to confront this concerted scourge of terror that has hit France, and takes the necessary measures to protect its citizens...