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Mauritanians Vote in Presidential Election as Ghazouani Seeks Re-election

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louis Buyisiwe

Jun 29, 2024

Incumbent President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani aims to boost investment amid natural gas production plans.

The President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani

Mauritanians voted on Saturday in a presidential election, with President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani expected to win. Ghazouani, 67, has pledged to attract investment as the country prepares to start producing natural gas. "The last word belongs to the Mauritanian voters. I commit myself to respecting their choice," he said after voting in the capital, Nouakchott.

Polling opened at 0700 GMT and closed at 1900 GMT, with provisional results expected from Sunday. Ghazouani, elected for his first term in 2019, faces six opponents, including anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid, who secured over 18% of the vote in the previous election.

Other candidates include lawyer Id Mohameden M'Bareck, economist Mohamed Lemine El Mourtaji El Wafi, and Hamadi Sidi El Mokhtar of the Islamist Tewassoul party. A key voter issue is addressing corruption and creating jobs for the young.

Ghazouani has promised a natural gas-fired power plant from the Greater Tortue Ahmeyin offshore gas project, renewable energy investments, and expansion of gold, uranium, and iron-ore mining. Mauritania has seen stability under Ghazouani's leadership, unlike its Sahel neighbors facing Islamist insurgencies.

If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, a second round will be held. Some opposition supporters doubt Ghazouani will win outright if voting is transparent, reflecting concerns from the last election.

In conclusion, Mauritanians await the results of an election crucial for the nation's economic future and stability.

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