IntroductionThe Islamic Republic of Mauritania is an Islamic country witha 100% Muslim population (Joan J, 1984). Before the 1991’s constitution,Islamic Republic of Mauritania was ruled by one party regime under differentmilitary movements which always came to power by coups between 1978 and 1984.
After state opened the door for a new situation and allowed some differentideological movements to establish their own organizations, parties,associations.., except the Islamists even they were a very popular andimportant group at that time from that political opportunity, the Islamistswere at that time, generally, represented by a new movement belonged/similar tothe Muslim brotherhood and their general view both ideological and politicalaspirations. Although it is one of the world’s poorest countries, with one ofthe highest number of coops around the world in general and Arabic and Islamicworld in particular, Mauritania recently has been one of the important actorsin the north- western Africa, and a key player in the regional strategy againstterrorism in the Western Africa.Since Mauritaniansociety is considered to be one of the most religious societies in the MuslimWorld and an opened society as well as full and democratized regarding the restof the both Muslim and Arab Worlds based on different levels of all rightswhich are given and offered there more than any other Arab and Muslim country,due to having all the democracy steps practiced and joined by all societylevels and categories such as women, yang and all minorities there who all arewell represented in the two official and nonofficial area, state and societybodies, which can be explain as an exception among the religious societies allaround the world. (Alnahwi E. 1978).HistoricalOverview of MauritaniaIslamic Republic of Mauritania, isan important African, Arabic and Islamic country with 3.
5 Million population(2015), located in the North West of Africa. It borders on the Atlantic Oceanin the west, on Western Sahara in the northwest and north, on Algeria in thenortheast, on Mali in the east and southeast, and on Senegal in the southwest.Nouakchott is the capital and largest city.Early History through theColonialism Period:By the beginning of the 1stmillennium A.
D. Sanhaja Berbers had migrated into Mauritania, pushing the blackAfrican inhabitants (especially the Soninké) southward toward the SenegalRiver. The Hodh region (East of Mauritania), which became desert only in the11th century, was the center of the ancient empire of Ghana (700–1200), whosecapital, Kumbi-Saleh, located near the present-day border with Mali, has beenunearthed by archaeologists.
Until the 13th century, Oualata, Awdaghost, andKumbi-Saleh, all in SE Mauritania, were major centers along the trans-Saharan caravanroutes linking Morocco with the region along the upper Niger River.In the 11th century, theAlmoravids (AL-Murabitoun) movement was founded among the Muslim Berbers of Mauritania.In the 14th and 15th century, SE Mauritania was part of the empire ofMali, centered along the upper Niger. By this time the Sahara had encroached onmuch of Mauritania, consequently limiting agriculture and reducing thepopulation. In the 1440s, Portuguese navigators explored the Mauritanian coastand established a fishing base on Arguin Island, located near the present-dayboundary with Western Sahara. (Joan J, 1984, p 61).From the 17th cent.,Dutch, British, and French traders were active along the Mauritanian coast;they were primarily interested in the gum Arabic gathered near the SenegalRiver.
Under Louis Faidherbe, governor of Senegal (61-1854; 65-1863), Francegained control of Mauritania. The region was declared a protectorate in 1903,but parts of the north were not pacified until the 1930s.Until 1920, when it became aseparate colony in French West Africa, Mauritania was administered as part ofSenegal. Saint-Louis, in Senegal, continued to be Mauritania’s administrativecenter until 1957, when it was replaced by Nouakchott. The French ruled throughexisting political authorities and did little to develop the country’s economyor to increase educational opportunities for the population. National politicalactivity began only after World War II.
In 1958, Mauritania became anautonomous republic within the French Community. Politicalpluralism in Mauritania, a long march towards democracyFollowing independence from Francein 1960 and the ensuing one-party government of Mokhtar Ould Daddah, deposed in1978, Mauritania had a series of military rulers until the first MauritanianMulti-Party elections in 1992, which was attended for first time by someopposition parties and independent candidates and generally the history ofMauritanian Democracy has passed through various phases.1- Independence and one-party system (1960-1978): This period started form the Mauritanian independence and thefunding of the Mauritanian People’s Party (PPM) Hizb Al-Sha’ab Al-Muritaniy,which was the sole legal party of Mauritania from 1961 to 1978. It was headedby the first Mauritanian President Moktar Ould Daddah.Ould Daddah founded the partyshortly after Mauritania’s independence from France in November 1960 by mergingthe former ruling party, the Mauritanian Re-groupment Party, with oppositionparties including Association de la Jeunesse Mauritanienne, Revolution Party,the Union National Mauritanians, and the Union Socialist des MusulmansMauritanians.
The parties were united at a meeting of their politicalleadership in December 1961, and Daddah proceeded to enact a range of repressivelaws, banning alternative political parties and bestowing virtually unlimitedpower upon the Presidency.Following the July 1978 coup led byMustafa Ould Salek, Mauritania’s civilian leadership was replaced with militaryrule and the political parties were abolished and banned.