Mauritania: Mohamed Cheikh El-Ghazouani declared winner, opposition challenges

Mauritania: Mohamed Cheikh El-Ghazouani declared winner, opposition challenges


Candidate of the party currently in power, the Union for the Republic (UPR), El-Ghazouani is now the president of Mauritania. According to the National Electoral Commission, he won 52% of the vote.

Promising to ensure “the stability of the country” in the continuity of the outgoing, the candidate of Dauphin Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was elected hands down, from the first round in the election of Saturday, June 22 with 52% of the votes of after the official results of the Electoral Commission. The poll should mark the first transition between two presidents elected in the vast Sahel country shaken by numerous coups from 1978 to 2008, date of the coup that brought Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to power, before his election in 2009.

  • A (other) general became president

Without waiting for the official results announced Sunday night, the former Minister of Defense, aged 62, declared himself winner from the results on 80% of the polling stations, after an electoral vigil on the night of Saturday to Sunday in the presence of the former president. In the evening, the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) only confirmed these words and announced the victory of Mohamed Cheikh El-Ghazouani, who won 52.01% of the vote on all offices. He is followed by four opponents, including anti-slavery activist Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid (18.58%) and former Prime Minister Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar (17.87%).

  • Opposition rejects announced results

The opposition immediately described this early announcement of “new coup” by these two former generals, “eternal putchists” according to her. Its candidates have been shouting for months at the risk of perpetuating a “military” regime and fraud. “The power has lost the electoral battle,” said Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid during a joint press conference of the four opposition candidates, who committed before the vote to support each other in the event of a second round on 6 July.

Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar denounced “multiple irregularities” which, according to him, “remove all credibility” to this election. “We reject the results of this election and we consider that they do not express the will of the Mauritanian people,” he said, demanding that they be published by the CENI “bureau par bureau”. Ould Abeid also called on Mauritanians to “resist within the limits of the law to this umpteenth coup against the will of the people”.

  • Meanwhile the Constitutional Council

These results have yet to be submitted for validation to the Constitutional Council after consideration of possible appeals, while the four opposition candidates announced that they would use all legal channels to challenge them. The 1.5 million voters voted Saturday – 62.66% participation, according to the CENI – to designate their president, who must preserve the stability hard-won by Mauritania, but also ensure the economic development and make it to advance respect for human rights.

Incidents broke out following the statements of Ghazouani, in several places of the capital and in Nouadhibou, (northwest), the only province where it did not arrive in front, preceded by Biram Ould Abeid.

Police dispersed protesters who were burning tires and chanting anti-government slogans with tear gas and batons, according to a security source. Sources close to the opposition reported injuries.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres‘ representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, congratulated Mauritanians “for the peaceful holding of the presidential election” and reiterated the call for Mr. Guterres “to resolve any potential litigation” through the judicial process.

  • Ghazouani in the footsteps of Ould Abdel Aziz

Ould Abdel Aziz stabilized Mauritania, hit in the 2000s by jihadist attacks and kidnappings of foreigners, by pursuing a voluntarist policy: rebuilding the army, increased surveillance of the territory and development of remote areas. But critics focus on fundamental rights, in a society marked by persistent disparities between Arab-Berber communities, Haratine (descendants of Arab-Berber masters, whose culture they share) and Afro-Mauritanians, who generally speak French. mother tongue of sub-Saharan ethnic groups.

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