Mauritania sets date for presidential elections

Mauritanians will go to the polls on June 22 to vote for a successor to President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who is stepping down after his second and final term in office. 

According to AFP, if there is no outright winner in the first round of elections, a runoff vote will be held on July 6, under a presidential decree. 

Candidates have until May 8 to file their bid to be next president of the West African state. 

Several major figures have already declared their intentions to run. They include former defense minister Mohamed Ould Cheikh Mohamed Ahmed, who is a close associate of the current president. 

Others are the former head of the 2005-2007 transitional government, Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar, anti-slavery activist Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid and long-standing opposition figure Mohamed Ould Moloud. 

The election campaign is set to start on June 7 and will last 14 days. 

The list of presidential candidates could be extended since the deadline for submitting applications expires on May 8, according to the decree.  The final list of candidates will be made public on May 22.