Dictatorial Review: His Supreme Excellency, ‘President’ Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania
Coup D’Etat Cred 8/10, Human Rights Violations 9/10
He packs a pretty decent coup-punch, with a record of two out of two successful coups in three years (2005-2008). While this is obviously an impressive achievement, here at Dictator Review, we felt that he could have perhaps risen to the top a tad faster given his prominence in the first coup… Nevertheless, the kingmaker is arguably more powerful than the king! In the words of a man, without whom, DR wouldn’t exist, you guessed it, Machiavelli, ‘never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception’. Really nice touch however in the immediate post-coup aftermath, of on the one hand pledging to scale-back the military (we all know what they’re like in opposition) and on the other, pledging to ‘limit voter fraud’. Nothing better than a soothingly clear roadmap to political consolidation.
Also get this, Mauritania was the last ‘country’ on the planet to abolish slavery in 1981. In fact it was legal (technically) to own slaves when good ol’ President MOAA made his first bid for one of the top jobs in 2005. The country’s ‘Human Rights Record’ Wikipedia page is longer than the page on the country itself! Hugh Trevor Roper would have a field day if he was still around…