The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Mauritania

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This page contains a list of the greatest Mauritanian Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 19,576 Politicians, 11 of which were born in Mauritania. This makes Mauritania the birth place of the 139th most number of Politicians behind Suriname, and Monaco.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Mauritanian Politicians of all time. This list of famous Mauritanian Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Mauritanian Politicians.

Photo of Moktar Ould Daddah

1. Moktar Ould Daddah (1924 - 2003)

With an HPI of 59.78, Moktar Ould Daddah is the most famous Mauritanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages on wikipedia.

Moktar Ould Daddah (Arabic: مختار ولد داداه, romanized: Mukhtār Wald Dāddāh; December 25, 1924 – October 14, 2003) was a Mauritanian politician who led the country after it gained its independence from France. Moktar served as the country's first Prime Minister from 1957 to 1961 and as its first President of Mauritania, a position he held from 1960 until he was deposed in a military coup d'etat in 1978. He established a one-party state, with his Mauritanian People's Party being the sole legal political entity in the country, and followed a policy of "Islamic socialism" with many nationalizations of private businesses. In his memoirs, Moktar expressed concern that the issue of slavery in Mauritania could lead to armed conflict that would ultimately destroy the country. In foreign affairs, he joined the Non-Aligned Movement and maintained strong links with Mao Zedong and the People's Republic of China, but he also accepted Western (especially French) foreign aid. During his presidency, Mauritania saw conflict with the Polisario Front in Western Sahara after working to broker a deal to divide the territory with Morocco.

Photo of Mohamed Ould Ghazouani

2. Mohamed Ould Ghazouani (b. 1956)

With an HPI of 59.07, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani is the 2nd most famous Mauritanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

Mohamed Ould Cheikh Mohamed Ahmed Ould Ghazouani (Arabic: محمد ولد الشيخ محمد أحمد ولد الغزواني; born 4 December 1956), also known as Ghazouani and Ould Ghazouani, is a Mauritanian politician and retired army general who has served as the 9th President of Mauritania since 2019. He has served as chairperson of the African Union since February 2024. Ghazouani is a former general-director of National Security and former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of Mauritania (2008–2018). He was defense minister of Mauritania from October 2018 to March 2019. At that time a close ally of his predecessor Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, he was elected president of Mauritania on 22 June 2019 following the 2019 presidential election. His victory in the 2019 presidential election was presented as having been the country's first peaceful transition of power since independence.

Photo of Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi

3. Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi (1938 - 2020)

With an HPI of 56.78, Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi is the 3rd most famous Mauritanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.

Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi (Arabic: سيدي محمد ولد الشيخ عبد الله‎; 1938 – 22 November 2020) was a Mauritanian politician who was President of Mauritania from 2007 to 2008. He served in the government during the 1970s, and after a long period of absence from politics he won the March 2007 presidential election, taking office on 19 April 2007. He was deposed in a military coup d'état on 6 August 2008.

Photo of Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz

4. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (b. 1956)

With an HPI of 56.73, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is the 4th most famous Mauritanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 53 different languages.

Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (Arabic: محمد ولد عبد العزيز, romanized: Muḥammad Wald 'Abd al-'Azīz; born 20 December 1956) is a retired Mauritanian military officer and politician who served as the 8th president of Mauritania from 2009 to 2019. A career soldier and high-ranking officer, he was a leading figure in the August 2005 coup that ousted President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, and later in August 2008, he led another coup, that removed President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi. After the 2008 coup, Mohamed became president of the High Council of State as part of what was described as a political transition leading to a new election. He resigned from that post in April 2009 in order to stand as a candidate in the July 2009 presidential election, which he won. He took office in August 2009. He was subsequently re-elected in 2014, then did not seek re-election in 2019. He was succeeded by Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, who assumed office in August 2019. Mohamed also held the role of chairman of the African Union from 2014 to 2015. In June 2021, Mohamed was detained on charges of corruption. He was sentenced to five years' imprisonment in December 2023. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was born in Akjoujt on 20 December 1956. He joined the Meknes Royal Military Academy in Morocco in 1977, and, after a string of promotions, established the elite BASEP (Presidential Security Battalion). He played a key role in suppressing an attempted coup in June 2003 and a military uprising in August 2004. He received Mauritania's highest military award for his role in stopping the 2004 uprising. A military coup on 3 August 2005, led by Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, Director-General of the Sûreté Nationale, and Colonel Mohamed, who was commander of the Presidential Guard (BASEP), overthrew President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya. Colonel Mohamed was one of the main actors in the actual carrying out of this coup. At the time, Mohamed was described by a Western academic as a leader of a Mauritanian Nasserist group, pan-Arab secular nationalists. Western sources, citing Mohamed's background in coming from a traditionally favored Oulad Bou Sbaa Chorfa clan group, questioned the general's commitment to democracy and reversing the history of ethnic and class inequities in the nation. Contrary to this, the Mauritanian press credited Mohamed for pushing to reduce military rule from 24 to 19 months and for attempting to limit voter fraud in the coming election. On 30 August 2007, President Sidi named Mohamed his Presidential Chief of Staff (Chef d'Etat-major particulier du Président de la République). Mohamed, now a General, continued to work closely with the President: at the end of February 2008 he served as a personal envoy of the President to King Mohammed VI of Morocco. General Mohamed was also commander of the forces sent to apprehend Group for Preaching and Combat militants who had killed four French tourists at Aleg in December 2007. A May 2008 article contrasted Mohamed's continuing involvement at the center of political power with Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, who had left public life. Mohamed remained both Advisor to the President and General, and was described as being at the nexus of "a small galaxy of other colonels, businessmen and politicians, in an uneasy balance." A conflict with the President was clearly growing in June 2008. At the end of June, the left-wing UFP party reported that they believed Mohamed and Ghazouani were planning for a coup, but were attempting a strategy of political change by hiving "independent" parliamentarians off from the government, which would replace the President peacefully. A mass defection in the ranks of the ruling PNDD-ADIL party on 4 August 2008 (two days before the coup) with 25 Parliamentary deputies and 23 senators was reported to have been inspired by military leaders, and would have left the president unable to govern. On 6 August 2008, Mohamed was ordered removed by Abdallahi from his command, along with several senior officers including General Muhammad Ould Al-Ghazwani, General Felix Negri, and Brigadier General (Aqid) Ahmed Ould Bakri. The first announcement of the State Council was to annul this decree. By 9:20 local time, BASEP troops seized the President, Prime Minister, and Interior Minister in the capital, Nouakchott. Mauritania television was taken off the air earlier, but Arabia-based al-Arabiya television played an announcement said to be from the new military junta. According to an official statement released on 7 August Sidi's powers were terminated and Mauritania would be governed on a transitional basis by an 11-member High Council of State, with Mohamed as the president of the council, until a new presidential election was held "as soon as possible". Public reaction to the 2008 coup by western governments in the days after 6 August were hostile, with particularly harsh condemnation coming from former colonial power and past economic supporter France. In the two weeks following the coup, Mohamed met with a number of foreign delegations, made personal phone calls to foreign leaders, and gave a number of press interviews to the international media. In these he stated that his actions were legal, a response to "anti-constitutional" oppression by the previous government, and that although "forced to take power" he had no desire for power. He did not rule out running in the promised elections, however. A Saudi-based newspaper claimed that the General was motivated by a combination of disgust at the corruption of those close to Abdallahi, but also over legal threats against Mohamed and others by the president regarding the behavior of the Mauritanian military during the mass expulsion of black Africans in 1989. Mohamed's initial list of names for the High Council of State included five civilians, released on 7 August along with a statement that former government ministers could retain their jobs. By the end of the same day, this list had been revised, without public explanation, to include all military figures. Two small demonstrations were held on the day following the coup: one opposing the seizure of power, which was dispersed by the police with tear gas, and one march supporting the military, at which Mohamed spoke. At that demonstration, marchers already carried life size photographs of Mohamed in military uniform. Within a week, a majority of the Mauritanian Parliament voted to authorize the coup, and on the 13th, Mohamed signed a decree appointing Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf as Prime Minister of Mauritania. The Council stated that Mohamed had the power to appoint the prime minister, military officials and civil servants in Mauritania. Neighboring support was somewhat forthcoming, with Morocco's government press calling Mohamed a patriot, an advisor of the Moroccan king coming to Nouakchott to meet with Mohamed, and Libya and Senegal eventually pronounced their support for the new government. In contrast, the Algerian government has stridently opposed the coup, even while quietly receiving a visit from Mohamed's close ally and the new Mauritanian Chief of Armed Forces, Muhammad Ould Al-Ghazwani, and has attempted to rally the African Union and Arab states against Abdelaziz. The United States has consistently issued press releases from the Department of State condemning the coup d'état as illegal and unconstitutional. The African Union has issued condemnation of General Aziz as well as travel bans and the freezing of assets of Aziz and those connected with the coup and the illegal seizure of the Mauritanian government. The BBC has pointed out that the General, who was previously seen as a supporting player in the 2005 coup, is now seen as having been the power behind the previous junta. It was also noted that the General, never seen without his military uniform, is already addressed by government staff as "president". An ally of Mohamed was quoted saying "He's a simple man, who likes order." Apart from deriding corruption and government inaction, Mohamed stressed his opposition to Islamic fundamentalism. An internet threat, released on 12 August, alleged to be from Al-Qaeda threatened the coup leaders, and General Mohamed took the opportunity to stress his fidelity to the anti-terrorist operation which the United States government had funded in Mauritania since 2003 but suspended following the 6 August coup. The coup government of General Mohamed promised that it would hold a free and fair election for president on 6 June 2009. On 5 February 2009, Mauritanian state media reported that the General would stand as a candidate for president in that election. Despite this attempt to legitimize the post-coup government, the African Union carried out a sanctions regime first agreed on 22 December 2008, and continued to recognize Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi as the Mauritanian Head of State. The largest opposition parties initially refused to take part in the election, calling it "predetermined" and a "farce". Ould Mohamed headed a list of sanctions targets by the African Union which was put into effect on 6 February 2009. The sanctions against government and military officials who backed the August coup prevent travel to AU nations, the issuing of visas or travel documents to these individuals, and the seizure of bank assets within AU nations. In order to stand as a candidate in the presidential election, Mohamed was required to step down as Head of State. He did so on 15 April, as expected, and the President of the Senate, Ba Mamadou Mbare, succeeded him in an interim capacity. Members of the opposition decried the move, saying the General was retaining real power. Mohamed Ould Maouloud, a leader in the National Front for the Defence of Democracy (FNDD) opposition coalition, was quoted in the foreign press as saying: "It's a false resignation, a pretend resignation that the general is doing to trick public opinion and have people accept the putsch." The Union for the Republic political party elected Mohamed as its president at the party's constituent assembly on 5 May 2009. In the presidential election held on 18 July 2009, Mohamed won a first-round majority of 52.58%. He then resigned as party leader on 2 August 2009, as the President of Mauritania cannot be a member of any party. Mohamed was sworn in as President at a ceremony held in Nouakchott on 5 August 2009. Mohamed was non-fatally shot on 13 October 2012. Reports are conflicting as to where on his body Mohamed was shot and whether the incident was an accident or an assassination attempt. The country's Communications Minister, Hamdi Ould Mahjoub, reported that the president was shot in the arm, while Reuters medical sources said it was in the abdomen. Initially, Mauritanian radio reported that Mohamed survived an assassination attempt, but Mohamed subsequently said that he was accidentally shot by an army unit and was successfully operated on for minor injuries. Witnesses claim Mohamed was directly targeted by men who ran away after the shooting. Mohamed received an initial operation at a military hospital in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott, and then, according to the French defense ministry, would be transferred to Percy-Clamart military hospital in Paris for additional treatment. In April 2010 Aziz and the leaders of Mali, Niger, and Algeria meet to tackle against terrorism. In November 2012, the Government of Mauritania began to allow privately owned TV stations for the first time. A draft bill had been created in 2010 by the Senate of Mauritania. As for that in his party won the 2013 Mauritanian parliamentary election with 21% of the vote and they gained 15 seats in parliament. The cause for this was because Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamed Lemine who was Union for the Republic's president told Mauritanians a majority in parliament would so that they could support the program of President. Mohamed stood for re-election in 2014, which he won over Biram Dah Abeid, with nearly 82% of the popular vote. After winning the election many opposition parties boycotted the election results. But even though the election was boycotted the African Union praised the elections for taking place relatively peacefully. A referendum took place in 2017 in which it was split into two questions on different proposed reforms. One covered abolition of the indirectly-elected Senate and its replacement with Regional Councils, as well as merging the Islamic High Council and the national Ombudsman into a 'Supreme Council of the Fatwa'. The other one covered national symbols, including a proposal to change the national flag by adding a red band at the top and bottom to symbolize "the efforts and sacrifices that the people of Mauritania will keep consenting, to the price of their blood, to defend their territory", as well as modifying the national anthem. Mohamed Ould Mohamed called for Mauritania to root out hate speech as he headed a rally aimed at ending ethnic tensions. He said that he adopted a law in which he cracked down on "hateful, racist or violent speech". Since 2015 many protests were held against slavery in Mauritania, with protestors accusing the government of not implementing anti-slavery law. Aziz and the Government of Mauritania stated that slavery had not existed in the country since 1981, when it was the last nation to abolish it. In March 2013, Aziz established an agency to stop slavery, known as the "National Agency to Fight against the Vestiges of Slavery, Integration, and Fight against Poverty". Mohamed did not stand for re-election in 2019, and was peacefully succeeded by the winner of the election, at that time his confidant Mohamed Ould Ghazouani. In March 2021, a judge charged Mohamed and 10 other people in his inner circle, including one of his sons-in-law, several former prime ministers, and businessmen, with corruption. One of his lawyers then revealed that Mohamed refused to answer any questions from the judge. On 23 June 2021, a prosecutor speaking on condition of anonymity and the spokesman of the former president's party Djibril Ould Bilal confirmed that a judge transferred Mohamed from house arrest to jail after he refused to cooperate with police. On 29 December 2021, Mohamed was admitted to Nouakchott Military Hospital where he successfully underwent heart surgery. According to his lawyer, Mohamed had fallen ill and suffered nose bleeds. In a statement, Mohamed's family claimed that the former president's poor health came as a result of the corruption scandal, stating that they "fear for his physical liquidation" by the regime which "failed in its attempts to liquidate him politically." When Mohamed was discharged from the hospital, he was allowed to return on 7 January 2022 to house arrest instead of jail due to his health issues. On 1 June 2022, the prosecutor ordered the referral of Mohamed to the Criminal Court on charges of corruption, money laundering, and illicit enrichment. The court file estimated the sums embezzled by Mohamed at US$90 million; these assets consisted of 17 houses, 468 plots of land, several herds of sheep, and ougiya banknotes. In October 2023, a prosecution requested 20 years in prison with confiscation of the property of Mohamed. On 4 December, he was convicted of illicit enrichment and laundering and was sentenced to five years' imprisonment, with his lawyer saying that they would appeal the verdict. Political transition in Mauritania: Assessment and horizons. Middle East/North Africa Report N°53. International Crisis Group (ICG) 24 April 2006.

Photo of Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya

5. Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya (b. 1941)

With an HPI of 55.46, Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya is the 5th most famous Mauritanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya (Arabic: معاوية ولد سيد أحمد الطايع, romanized: Ma‘āwiyah wuld Sīdi Aḥmad aṭ-Ṭāya‘ / Mu'awiya walad Sayyidi Ahmad Taya; born 28 November 1941) is a Mauritanian military officer who served as the President of Mauritania from 1984 to 2005. During his presidency, he pursued policies of Arab nationalism while deepening ties with the United States. Having come to power through a bloodless military coup, he was ousted by a military coup himself in 2005. Prior to his presidency, he was the 5th Prime minister of Mauritania between 1981 and 1992 (except for a brief period in 1984). Born in the town of Atar (Adrar Region), Maaouya attended a Franco-Arabic Primary School from 1949 to 1955. He then attended Rosso High School in southern Mauritania. After graduation, he attended a French military school in 1960 and graduated as an officer the next year. In 1975, he received strategic training at the French War Academy. In 1978, the Mauritanian Army seized power and ousted long-time President Moktar Ould Daddah, in an attempt to forestall government collapse in the war over Western Sahara against the Polisario Front (1975–79). Maaouya was among the conspirators, and quickly gained influence within the government. After holding various positions in the military, Maaouya was appointed Chief of Staff of the Army in January 1981, during the rule of military head of state Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla. In the aftermath of a failed coup against Ould Haidalla in March 1981, Maaouya was appointed Prime Minister on 25 April 1981, replacing civilian Prime minister Sid'Ahmed Ould Bneijara. He held this office until 8 March 1984, when Ould Haidalla, who was still head of state, took over the post. On 12 December 1984, while Ould Haidalla was out of the country, Maaouya seized power and declared himself Chairman of the Military Committee for National Salvation (CMSN). In October 1987, Maaouya's military government allegedly uncovered a tentative coup d'état by a group of black army officers, backed, according to the authorities, by Senegal. Several officers were arrested, interrogated, and possibly tortured, leading to the acquittal of only seven. The discord between conflicting visions of Mauritanian society as either black or Arab again rose to the surface during the intercommunal violence that broke out in April 1989. This tension grew when the Mauritania-Senegal border dispute escalated into violence between the two nations. Even before the war, Maaouya and Abdou Diouf, president of Senegal at the time, had been engaged in a dispute after the completion of dams on the Senegal River. Maaouya argued that Senegalese representatives in the OMVS had refused to create river harbors during construction, diminishing Mauritania's ability to exploit phosphate deposits. Heightened ethnic tensions created an additional catalyst for the Mauritania–Senegal Border War, which started as a result of a conflict in Diawara between Moorish Mauritanian herders and Senegalese farmers over grazing rights. The border between Senegal and Mauritania was then closed, and the two nations ended diplomatic ties with each other. As the war continued, some Fula and Soninke people were arrested and executed. Maaouya's government initiated a military investigation before implementing a law of amnesty. In July 1991, presidents Diouf and Maaouya reached an agreement to end hostilities. On 18 July, Senegal and Mauritania signed a peace treaty, ending the Mauritania–Senegal Border War, and on 2 May 1992, the borders reopened to all civilians. the late 1980s, Maaouya had established close co-operation with Iraq, and pursued a strongly Arab nationalist line. Mauritania grew increasingly isolated internationally, and tensions with Western countries grew dramatically after it took a pro-Iraqi position during the 1991 Gulf War, although he had received French support and aid in 1984-1987. Maaouya faced criticism for infringing the rights of black Mauritanians during this time, including forced expatriations. Maaouya's regime began a transition to civilian, multiparty government in 1991; a new Constitution was approved by referendum in July. The first multiparty presidential elections were held in January 1992. Maaouya, as candidate of the newly formed Democratic and Social Republican Party (PRDS), received nearly 63% of the vote, amid opposition claims of serious irregularities and fraud. He won slightly more than 90% of the vote in the following 12 December 1997 presidential election, which was boycotted by major opposition political parties; anticipating fraud, they said that this would make their participation "futile". The last years of Maaouya's rule were marred by unrest within the military and hostility between the regime and the country's Islamists. Maaouya moved away from his initial support of the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein at the time of the 1991 Gulf War, and moved towards the West. On 28 October 1999, Mauritania joined Egypt, Palestine, and Jordan as the only members of the Arab League to officially recognize Israel. By doing so, Maaouya formally ended a declared war on Israel that dated from the 1967 Six-Day War. During his administration, Maaouya also began co-operating with the United States in anti-terrorism activities, a policy that was criticized by some human rights organizations. Increasing ties with Israel and the United States served to deepen the opposition to his rule. In June 2003, Maaouya's government survived a coup attempt, defeating rebel soldiers after two days of heavy fighting in the capital, Nouakchott; the coup leader, Saleh Ould Hanenna, initially escaped capture. Ould Hanenna announced the formation of a rebel group called "the Knights of Change" but was eventually captured in October 2004 and sentenced to life in prison along with other alleged plotters in early 2005. On 7 November 2003 a presidential election was held, which was won by Maaouya with over 67% of the popular vote. The opposition again denounced the result as fraudulent; the second-place candidate, former ruler Ould Haidalla, was arrested both immediately before and after the election, and was accused of plotting a coup. In August 2004, the government arrested more alleged coup plotters, who it said had planned to overthrow Maaouya when he took a planned trip to France; some, however, doubted the existence of this plot and suspected that it was a pretext for a crackdown. In late September, the government claimed to have thwarted yet another plot to oust Maaouya. Anticipating an increase in government revenue through the exploitation of natural resources, particularly offshore oil deposits, Maaouya announced an increase in pay for the civil service and pensions in November 2004. While Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya was out of the country for the funeral of Saudi King Fahd in early August 2005, soldiers seized government buildings and the state media. The group, which identified itself as the Military Council for Justice and Democracy (CMJD), announced a coup d'état in a statement run by the state news agency on 3 August: "The armed forces and security forces have unanimously decided to put an end to the totalitarian practices of the deposed regime under which our people have suffered much over the last several years." The new military dictatorship said it would remain in power for a maximum of two years to allow time for democratic institutions to be implemented. The Military Council for Justice and Democracy named Col. Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, a top associate of Maaouya for many years, as its head. Maaouya, on his way back from Fahd's funeral, landed in Niamey, the capital of Niger. He met Niger's president Mamadou Tandja before going to a villa in Niamey. Speaking to Radio France Internationale on 5 August, Maaouya condemned the coup, saying that there had "never been a more senseless coup in Africa" and that it reminded him of the adage "God save me from my friends, I'll take care of my enemies". On 8 August, he unsuccessfully attempted to order the Armed forces to restore him to power. Broad support for the coup appeared to exist across the country; Maaouya's own party, PRDS, abandoned him a few days after the coup by endorsing the new regime's transitional plan. International reaction to Maaouya's overthrow was initially strongly hostile, including the suspension of Mauritania from the African Union, but after several days the new rulers were apparently diplomatically successful in winning tacit international acceptance of their transitional regime. The United States in particular at first called for Maaouya to be restored to power but subsequently backed away from this. He left Niger for Banjul, Gambia, on 9 August 2005. After nearly two weeks there, he and his family flew to Qatar, where they arrived on 22 August. In April 2006, Vall said that Maaouya could return home as a free citizen, but would not be allowed to take part in the elections that were to mark the end of the transition because, Vall said, his participation could disrupt the transitional process; however, Vall said that he would be able to return to politics after the completion of the transition. In the March 2007 presidential election, Maaouya is said to have favored former Central Bank Governor Zeine Ould Zeidane. In late 2013, Maaouya was appointed a teacher at the Ahmed Bin Mohammad Military School, a military academy in Qatar.

Photo of Mustafa Ould Salek

6. Mustafa Ould Salek (1936 - 2012)

With an HPI of 51.28, Mustafa Ould Salek is the 6th most famous Mauritanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Col. Mustafa Ould Salek (Arabic: المصطفى ولد محمد السالك; 1936 – 18 December 2012) was the president of Mauritania from 1978 to 1979.

Photo of Ely Ould Mohamed Vall

7. Ely Ould Mohamed Vall (1953 - 2017)

With an HPI of 50.12, Ely Ould Mohamed Vall is the 7th most famous Mauritanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Colonel Ely Ould Mohamed Vall (Arabic: إعلي ولد محمد فال I‘lī Wald Muḥammad Fāl; 1953 – 5 May 2017) was a Mauritanian political and military figure. Following a coup d'état in August 2005, he served as the transitional military leader of Mauritania until 19 April 2007, when he relinquished power to an elected government.

Photo of Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Louly

8. Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Louly (1943 - 2019)

With an HPI of 50.08, Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Louly is the 8th most famous Mauritanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Lt. Col. Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Louly (Arabic: محمد محمود ولد أحمد لولي‎; 1 January 1943 – 16 March 2019) was the President of Mauritania and Chairman of the Military Committee for National Salvation (CMSN) from 3 June 1979 to 4 January 1980. Mohamed Mahmoud entered the Mauritanian army in November 1960, the year of Independence and was trained in the French military academies. He then held various positions of responsibility in the government of Moktar Ould Daddah. In July 1978, he was one of the founding members of the Military Committee for National Recovery (CMRN), which under the leadership of Mustafa Ould Salek, overthrew on July 10, 1978, President Moktar Ould Daddah in a military coup due to the conflict in Western Sahara. On April 6, 1979, Mohamed Mahmoud and Ahmed Ould Bouceif supported by Lieutenant-Colonel Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla and the new Military Committee for National Salvation (CMSN), overthrew Mustafa Ould Salek due to his loss of influence and power within the CMSN, and also due to many economic problems arising from the conflict in the Western Sahara and the growing gap between Arabs and black Africans in the country. On 4 January 1980, his Prime Minister, Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla, dismissed him in another military coup. He died peacefully on March 16, 2019, in Nouakchott.

Photo of Mohamed Ould Bilal

9. Mohamed Ould Bilal (b. 1963)

With an HPI of 47.37, Mohamed Ould Bilal is the 9th most famous Mauritanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Mohamed Ould Bilal (Arabic: محمد ولد بلال; born 10 December 1963), is a Mauritanian politician serving as the current Prime Minister of Mauritania since 6 August 2020.

Photo of Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar

10. Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar (b. 1957)

With an HPI of 43.20, Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar is the 10th most famous Mauritanian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar (Arabic: سيدي محمد ولد بوبكر; born on 31 May 1957) is a Mauritanian politician who has been Prime Minister of Mauritania twice, from 1992 to 1996 and again from 2005 to 2007. Born in Atar in 1957, Sidi Mohamed became regional treasurer in Nouadhibou in April 1983 and then technical adviser to the Minister of Finance and Trade in November 1983. In March 1984, he became Treasurer-General of Mauritania. Subsequently, during the rule of Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, he became Director of the supervision of publicly owned establishments in 1985, Director of the budget in 1986 and Controller-General of finances in 1987. He became Director of the plan in December 1987, then Director of the treasury and public accounts in April 1988. Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar became Minister of Finance in October 1990 and was appointed Prime Minister on 18 April 1992. He held the latter position until he was dismissed by President Maaouya on 2 January 1996. On 6 January 1996, he was elected Secretary-General of the ruling party, the Democratic and Social Republican Party (PRDS). He was appointed Director of the Presidential Cabinet in 2001. And he became Mauritania's Ambassador to France in 2004. Following a military coup against Maaouya on 3 August 2005, he returned to his country from France (where he was appointed Ambassador by the Ould Taya's Government in 2004), on 6 August and was appointed Prime minister on 7 August by Col. Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, head of the Military Council for Justice and Democracy (CMJD). Sidi Mohamed's appointment came shortly after the resignation of Sghair Ould M'Bareck, Maaouya's last Prime Minister before he was ousted in a coup. Sidi Mohamed is a member of the Republican Party for Democracy and Renewal, the successor party of the ruling PRDS. Like the members of Military Council for Justice and Democracy, Sidi Mohamed was not allowed to run for president in the March 2007 presidential election. Following the election and the confirmation of the results by the Constitutional Council, Sidi Mohamed submitted his resignation to Ely on 31 March; he was asked to remain in office in a caretaker capacity until the swearing in of the new President, Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, on 19 April, after which Sidi appointed Zeine Ould Zeidane as Prime Minister on 20 April. He was a presidential candidate in the June 2019 elections. On 22 June 2019, he received 17.87% of the electoral votes behind General Mohamed Ould Ghazouani (52.01%) and activist Biram Dah Abeid (18.58) in the election.


Pantheon has 12 people classified as Mauritanian politicians born between 1924 and 1963. Of these 12, 7 (58.33%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Mauritanian politicians include Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, and Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya. The most famous deceased Mauritanian politicians include Moktar Ould Daddah, Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, and Mustafa Ould Salek. As of April 2024, 1 new Mauritanian politicians have been added to Pantheon including Mohamed Ould Bilal.

Living Mauritanian Politicians

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Deceased Mauritanian Politicians

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Newly Added Mauritanian Politicians (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 4 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.