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Mauritania. In a sad but little-reported event last month, General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was elected president of Mauritania. The vote was so obviously suspicious that the electoral chief resigned and the opposition rejected the results. The real problem is that Mauritania already had a promising democracy before (who else?) General Aziz launched a coup last August. (Full disclosure: I was the State Dept lead for West Africa at the time of the coup and went to Nouakchott to lay down the U.S. position, so this one especially stings.) For an excellent article on the U.S. response to the coup, see this New York Times Magazine article.
Did I forget any setbacks?
CGD blog posts reflect theviews of the authors drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD does not take institutional positions.