This investigation raises the question of whether Mauritania should be considered an authoritarian regime. The explanatory variable used is not the only factor, but in Mauritania’s case it is one that has been given little attention. It is an analysis of the party system and its level of institutionalisation through five indicators: the social rooting of the parties; personalism and the profile of the leader; the level of volatility; the calling and participation of the opposition parties in the boycott of the elections and the ultimate acceptance by those parties of their results. It starts from the premise that representative democracy is built on a party political structure and draws conclusions about the low level of institutionalisation of the party system and the authoritarianism of the Mauritanian regime.
Key words: Mauritania, party systems, authoritarian regime
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