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A Frenchie travelling the world...

20 July 2009

Mauritania election "fair"?

Dear readers,

I have been following the Mauritanian elections, both via the BBC site and the excellent analysis from The Moor Next Door. So I have been a bit surprised by Le Monde latest reaction to the very expected "victory" of putschist General Ould Abdel Aziz. Of course, Le Monde simply and factually quotes a civil servant of the Quay d'Orsay (French Foreign Office) and adds together the claims of two opposition leaders that the whole thing was a sham. But it doesn't go any further, neither qualifies or measures these claims.

I am not really surprised by the French government reaction. Ould Abdel Aziz, whether this is true or not, is seen in Mauritania and abroad as a French protégé, by Moroccan proxy. Therefore, and after the lukewarm condemnation of his putsch by the French authority, nobody was expecting France to take the side of his opponents. But I am more disappointed by Le Monde's reaction. A bit of analysis is also part of a serious newspaper's work. I know that being factual is a good thing, but not even mentioning the connection between the current winner and the usual "Françafrique" circles is a little bit light for the French evening journal.

When I compare this to the in depth analysis of every rumor in the Iranian vote, I can only say that this is unbalanced reporting... Another sad day for French journalism.

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