Seven candidates to contest Mauritania’s presidential election

Seven candidates to contest Mauritania’s presidential election

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani will compete with six other candidates in the June 29 presidential election, according to a statement from the constitutional council cited by AFP. Ghazouani is widely expected to secure a second term in the central African country with a population of 4.5 million.

The council rejected the candidacy of former president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who is serving a prison term for embezzlement, a charge he denies. Despite being temporarily released in order to submit his candidacy, Aziz was disqualified for failing to secure a sufficient number of sponsors.

Notable candidates who will be able to run include Hamadi Ould Sid' El Moctar, leader of the Islamist opposition party, and human rights activist Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid, who was the runner up to Ghazouani in the 2019 election.

Mauritania endured multiple coups between 1978 and 2008, with an election in 2019 marking the first peaceful transition between elected presidents. While a tide of jihadist violence has swept across most of its Sahelian neighbors, Mauritania has been a comparative beacon of stability and has not suffered a jihadist attack since 2011.

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