Mauritania. Presidential elections were held in June after a few years of speculation as to whether Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, former general who took power in a coup in 2008 and who won in the 2009 and 2014 elections, would stand for another term. However, this would have been contrary to the Constitution. The Union of the Republic (UPR) government party in January launched another candidate than the incumbent president: the general and the Minister of Defense since 2018, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, who is close to Abdel Aziz.
The opposition, which boycotted certain elections during Abdel Aziz’s time in power, failed to agree on a joint candidate. Ghazouani was therefore opposed to five counter-candidates, including former Prime Minister Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar and anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid, both of whom stood for independence, and Mohamed Ould Mouloud, representing the opposition party Democratic Forces gathering. Mohamed Ould Ghazouani received 52% of the votes already in the first round, against 19% for Abeid and 18% for Boubacar. The opposition in vain accused the regime of electoral fraud. In August, Ismail Ould Bedda Ould Cheikh Sidiya was appointed new Prime Minister.
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In September, Mauritania’s and Chad’s presidents attended a meeting with the countries of the West African cooperation organization ECOWAS in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou. Together, they agreed to invest the equivalent of $ 1 billion to meet the threat posed by militant Islamist groups in the region. G5 Sahel, the force established in 2017 by Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Niger and Mauritania, is suffering from a lack of resources, and thousands of people in West Africa have fallen victim to Islamist violence that has increased in recent years.
According to CountryAAH, the population of Mauritania in 2019 was 4,525,585, ranking number 127 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.780% yearly, and the population density was 4.3909 people per km2.