Mauritania Table of Contents

Mauritania's experiment with one-party democracy ended with the replacement of Daddah's government by the CMRN on July 10, 1978. In April 1979, following the coup that brought Lieutenant Colonel Haidalla to power, the CMRN became the Military Committee for National Salvation (Comité Militaire de Salut National-- CMSN). The Taya government came to power following a bloodless palace coup on December 12, 1984. To justify the reorganization, President Taya and members of the CMSN charged Haidalla with excluding his colleagues on the CMSN from the decision-making process. The CMSN also expressed concern over the impact of the Structures for Educating the Masses (Structures pour l'Education des Masses--SEM), a grassroots network established by Haidalla in 1982 to lobby on behalf of his policies toward the Polisario. Over time, the SEM had become both the center of a personality cult and an alternative political apparatus. Finally, the new leaders pointed to evidence of corruption, which, if not benefiting Haidalla directly, profited family, friends, and the Polisario guerrillas.

Constitutional Charter
Legal System
Local Government
Local Elections

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress