world : Mauritanian president comfortably wins re-election

world : Mauritanian president comfortably wins re-election
world : Mauritanian president comfortably wins re-election

Monday 1 July 2024 10:32 PM

Nafeza 2 world - Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani has been re-elected as head of state following Saturday's national vote, winning comfortably in the first round without the need for a run-off.

The electoral commission website shows, external he took over 56% of the vote, beating six opposition candidates.

In second position was anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid with 22%, while Hamadi Sidi el-Mokhtar of the Islamist Tewassoul party came third with 13%.

On Sunday, Mr Abeid said he would not recognise the results, calling it an “electoral coup”.

Before this year’s election, the third-place candidate, Mr Mokhtar, warned that his party would not accept the results if it suspected rigging, the AFP news agency reports.

President Ghazouani, a former army chief, is credited with establishing stability since his first election five years ago, after decades of political unrest and frequent coups.

He has been allies with Western partners such as France and the US, but has also kept ties with junta-led neighbours including Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, which have pivoted towards Russia in recent years.

Mauritania has largely avoided the Islamist insurgencies affecting neighbouring Sahel state.

Slavery is still a scourge in the country despite being outlawed, and anti-slavery activists have faced torture and detention.

Thousands of black Mauritanians are enslaved. About 3% of the country's total population are living as slaves, according to the Global Slavery Index (GSI) in 2023.

The president's nearest challenger, Mr Abeid, has spent much of his life campaigning against slavery and his own grandparents were slaves.

He ran for president this year for a third time and alleged there was rigging, saying on Sunday, "we'll not accept these results from the so-called independent electoral commission. We'll use our own electoral commission to proclaim the results".

Mr Abeid emerged second in the 2019 elections also won by Mr Ghazouani.

The turnout for the election was about 55%, according to the electoral website.

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