The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Mauritania's presidential elections

Mauritania is voting for a new president today, after elections were postponed last month to allow for a political compromise between the junta that seized power in a coup nearly a year ago and the main opposition. The main opponent of junta leader Mohammad Ould Abdel Aziz is Ely Ould Mohammad Vall, who led the 2005 coup (known as the better coup), although Ahmed Ould Daddah is also a possibility and Kal's favorite. Kal also has more analysis.

Yes, no one cares about Mauritania, but the elections may allow for an easing of sanctions in place since the coup, more foreign investment in a growing oil industry and more. Which might, if there is some balance of power rather than junta rule in what appears to be a genuinely politically divided country, be good for Mauritanians.

Le Monde also has more in French.

Update: Fraud reports, Abdel Aziz way ahead.