Mauritania Current Affairs - 2019
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Mauritania, a country in Northwest Africa went to polls for the first time since the African nation gained independence from France nearly 60 years ago. Following the independence the country have mostly been ruled Non-elected military governments.
Key Highlights of Elections
President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (62), who seized power in a military coup in 2008, agreed to step down and abide by serving period of maximum two five-year elected terms. Under his reign he has positioned Mauritania, as an ally of West against Islamist militants.
Bound by term limits, Abdel Aziz threw his support behind 62-year-old Mohamed Ould Ghazouani. Ghazouani, a former general and defence minister was heavily tipped to replace outgoing President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
These elections are being held to choose a successor to a democratically-elected president. However, they are being criticized for being held in absence of international observers and printing of ballot papers by a company with ties to ruling party.
The counting of ballots in Mauritania on Saturday evening from its presidential election, as the ruling party claimed its candidate was poised to win a landslide victory.
The country is officially named Islamic Republic of Mauritania, lies on Atlantic coast of Africa.
It is a home to fewer than 5 million people across a vast expanse of Western Sahara Desert.
In 1981, Mauritania became final country in world to formally abolish slavery, but it continues to this day.
In recent years, country has been spared attacks by jihadist militants linked to Al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS). These militants have devastated other countries in West Africa’s Sahel region, including neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso.
President of Senegal Macky Sall has won the re-election with 58.27% of votes cast. More than 50% votes to a candidate imply that there would be no second round voting under the election system of Senegal.
Senegal lies on the west coast of Africa. Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest. Senegal also borders the Gambia which occupies a narrow sliver of land along the banks of the Gambia River. Senegal also shares a maritime border with Cape Verde. Dakar is Senegal’s economic and political capital.
Senegal was the colony of Portuguese and later the French. Senegal gained independence from France in 1960. Senegal is the Muslim majority country and it has successfully escaped the jihadist attacks which have destabilised neighbours such as Mali.
Senegal has witnessed two peaceful power transfers, in 2000 and 2012, and has never experienced a coup even though election campaigns are typically stained by charges of corruption, disinformation and bouts of violence.
Diplomatic relations between India and Senegal was established at the ambassadorial level with the establishment of a resident Indian mission in Dakar in 1962.
Senegal is often referred to as the biggest Indophile of West Africa since it is greatly influenced by a range of Indian cultural elements ranging from Hindi cinema to the concept of caste and outcaste.