Ghazouani wins Mauritania presidential election

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Mauritania’s government-backed candidate Mohamed Ould Ghazouani has been declared winner of the country’s historic presidential election.

He replaces his ally and former president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who stepped aside after serving two five-year terms.

The electoral commission declared Ghazouani winner with 52% of the vote. His nearest rival, prominent anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid, came in second with 18.58% of the vote.

Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar, who is backed by the country’s biggest Islamist party, came in third with 17.87%.

The opposition have however challenged the outcome of the polls, alleging irregularities.

Boubacar, addressing a news conference along with three other candidates, charged that “multiple irregularities … eliminated any credibility” of the election in the West African nation.

“We reject the results of the election and we consider that they in no way express the will of the Mauritanian people,” he said, vowing that the opposition would use “every legal means” to challenge them.

“We are launching an appeal to the Mauritanian people … to resist, within the bounds of the law, this umpteenth coup d’etat against the will of the people,” Second-placed Abeid also said.

The election was the first in the country’s history, since independence from France in 1960, to choose a successor to a democratically elected president.

 




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