Campaigns kick off in Mauritania in the run up to municipal polls

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Electoral campaigns have started across Mauritania as politicians seek to woo 1.4 million voters in the upcoming parliamentary and municipal polls slated for Sept. 1.

Several political parties held rallies in different parts of the northwest African country. Mauritania’s ruling Union for the Republic Party of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz listed its many “achievements” to voters on Thursday.

More than 100 political parties will vie for seats in the country’s parliament and on municipal councils.

Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Seyidi, head of the opposition National Rally for Reform and Development Party (“Tewassoul”) said opposition parties were taking part in the polls “despite the lack of transparency”.

Campaigns will end on the eve of the Sept. 1 election, in which, parties will also compete for seats in Mauritania’s 13 regional councils.

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz earlier this year reiterated that he would not stand for re-election next year, allowing for a peaceful transition of power for the first time.

 

Mauritania’s history has been marred by repeated military coups, beginning with the first post-independence president, Mokhtar Ould Daddah. The most recent military coup took place in 2008, putting Ould Abdel Aziz at the helm of the country.

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