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Mauritania’s President Ghazouani Wins Re-Election: Provisional Results

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louis Buyisiwe

Jul 1, 2024

President Ghazouani Secures Over 56% of Votes Amid Allegations of Electoral Irregularities

President Ghazouani casting his vote

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani has secured a second term in office, according to provisional results from over 99.27% of polling stations released by the West African nation's electoral commission on Sunday.

Ghazouani was re-elected in the Saturday election with over 56% of the vote, results from 4,468 out of 4,503 polling stations showed on the independent electoral commission's website. The 67-year-old former army chief of staff and defense minister, first elected in 2019, has pledged to boost investment to spur a commodities boom in the West African country of 5 million people, as it prepares to start producing natural gas by the end of the year.

Election Results and Reactions

Analysts had expected Ghazouani, who faced six challengers, to win in the first round, given the dominance of Mauritania's ruling party. The provisional results showed that his main rival, anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid, secured 22.14% of the vote, followed by Hamadi Sidi El Mokhtar of the Islamist Tewassoul party with 12.8%.

Earlier on Sunday, Abeid rejected the provisional results, alleging irregularities. "We'll not accept these results from the so-called independent electoral commission. We'll use our own electoral commission to proclaim the results," Abeid stated at a news conference in Nouakchott, the capital. Before the election, El Mokhtar also warned that his party would not accept the results if it suspected rigging.

Historical Context

In the 2019 election, some opposition candidates questioned the credibility of the vote, leading to small-scale protests. Preliminary figures showed the turnout at Saturday's vote was just under 55.33%, according to the commission's data.

Future Prospects

Ghazouani's victory positions him to continue his plans for economic growth and development, focusing on the natural gas sector. With Mauritania's potential for a commodities boom, his administration aims to attract significant investment to fuel this growth.

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