One might wonder what kind of person might make a statement like this:
"As long as [people] keep on thinking of the president as someone that is indispensable, they will continue to make a monumental error of judgement. It's that kind of thinking that leads to dictatorship."An American democrat, perhaps? Maybe a French libertarian?
It was Colonel Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, leader of the military Junta which, 19 months ago in a bloodless coup, seized power in the impoverished African state of Mauritania. Vall is keeping the promise he made when he took power and leaving the office of the president to a civilian government. The final round of voting will take place 25 March.
Declan has been following the events in Mauritania since the removal of Maaoya Sid'Ahmed Ould Taya on 5 August, 2005. From other reports, Vall has created a good environment to ensure free and fair elections. Even the state-run media has been commended, after some initial criticism, for maintaining fairness and quickly correcting any imbalance in coverage.
Mauritania will have a long way to go to achieve everything necessary to become a successful democracy. The population suffers from extreme poverty, although with the discovery of offshore oil, that may be able to be turned around as well.
Still, Vall's statement speaks volumes. Something other democracies might want to consider.