March 11, 2007

A Middle-east democracy success story

By the Sandmonkey

It's hard not to get excited over what's going on in Muritania. I mean, a country that was ruled by a despot for 21 years gets a military coup, that gets done by a group of military officers who chose not to rule the people but hold fair and democratic elections, where not a single one of them or anyone backed by them gets to run, and where they will resign from power and the military after the new government is in place, and this is the middle-east? And they did this totally by themselves, without foreign intervention or pressure? How could you not love that?

Power in Mauritania has never changed hands at the ballot box, although past votes have been held by dictators amid opposition cries
of fraud. The last president, Maaoya Sid'Ahmed Ould Taya, took power in
a 1984 coup and held it until a popular military junta led by Col. Ely
Ould Mohamed Vall toppled him in August 2005.

Vall has been praised for ending the nation's history of totalitarian rule, making good on promises to ensure a free press and
establish an independent judiciary. In June, he oversaw a successful
referendum that enshrined basic constitutional liberties and limited
future presidents to two five-year terms. Municipal and legislative
elections took place in November.

"We have big hopes for democracy," said Ahmed Ould Daddah, a leading candidate in Sunday's race and a longtime opposition figure who ran
twice against Taya in past ballots and spent four years under house
arrest. "People are afraid of a return to the old ways. They are
paranoid about this."

And they won't. Once given a choice, no one would take tyranny over democracy! 

Let's hope the entire middle-east follows suit one day! 

Posted by The Sandmonkey at March 11, 2007 11:00 AM
Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member



Testimonials

"I'm flattered such an excellent writer links to my stuff"
Johann Hari
Author of God Save the Queen?

"Terrific"
Andrew Sullivan
Author of Virtually Normal

"Brisk, bracing, sharp and thoughtful"
James Lileks
Author of The Gallery of Regrettable Food

"A hard-headed liberal who thinks and writes superbly"
Roger L. Simon
Author of Director's Cut

"Lively, vivid, and smart"
James Howard Kunstler
Author of The Geography of Nowhere


Contact Me

Send email to michaeltotten001 at gmail dot com


News Feeds




toysforiraq.gif



Link to Michael J. Totten with the logo button

totten_button.jpg


Tip Jar





Essays

Terror and Liberalism
Paul Berman, The American Prospect

The Men Who Would Be Orwell
Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer

Looking the World in the Eye
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

In the Eigth Circle of Thieves
E.L. Doctorow, The Nation

Against Rationalization
Christopher Hitchens, The Nation

The Wall
Yossi Klein Halevi, The New Republic

Jihad Versus McWorld
Benjamin Barber, The Atlantic Monthly

The Sunshine Warrior
Bill Keller, The New York Times Magazine

Power and Weakness
Robert Kagan, Policy Review

The Coming Anarchy
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

England Your England
George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn