Mauritanian President Ghazouani Faces Six Challengers in June 29 Vote

Tue May 21 2024
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NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania: Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani will face six challengers in the African country’s June 29 presidential election, according to the final list presented by the Constitutional Council on Monday.

Ghazouani, 67, is favoured to win a second term at the helm of the country of 4.5 million people, which sits strategically between North and sub-Saharan Africa.

The council did not accept the candidacy of Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the previous president, who is in prison for embezzlement, which he has always denied.

Aziz was released from prison last week to present his candidacy to the Constitutional Council, but it was rejected due to a lack of sponsors, a source close to the council said.

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Among the potential candidates in the June vote are Islamist opposition party leader Hamadi Ould Sid’ El Moctar and human rights activist Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid, who came second to Ghazouani in the 2019 vote.

Mauritania was hit by a series of coups between 1978 and 2008 before the 2019 elections marked the first transition between two elected presidents.

While jihadism has spread elsewhere in the Sahel, particularly in neighboring Mali, Mauritania has not seen an attack since 2011.

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