Country of the World Mauritania

About the country Mauritania, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.

NATIONS AND THEIR RULERS

MAURITANIA

NITTY-GRITTY

Lay of the Land: The Sahara Desert dominates this West African country. A strip of arable land borders the Senegal River in the south.

Size: 398,000 sq. mi. (1,030,700 sq. km.), about 2/3 the size of Alaska. This does not include Mauritania's disputed claim to the southern third of Western Sahara.

Population: 1.4 million.

Who Rules: The constitution of 1961 provides for a president with broad discretionary powers and a National Assembly, which consists of 77 members, including 7 from the disputed Western Sahara region. The supreme organ of government is the Mauritanian People's party (PPM). The legal system is a patchwork of Islamic and French law.

Who REALLY Rules: The Permanent Committee of the National Policy Bureau of the PPM. At the helm since independence has been Pres. Moktar Ould Daddah, a low-key, French-educated lawyer.

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