Mauritania’s new president has taken the oath of office, completing the West African nation’s first peaceful transfer of power.
A number of presidents in the West African sub-region were in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott for the event that officially brought President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani into office.
Some of the attendee presidents were:
- Senegal’s Macky Sall
- Ivory Coast’s Alassane Ouattara
- Niger’s Mahammadou Issoufou
- Burkina Faso’s Roch Marc Kabore
- Mali’s Ibrahim Boubakar Keita
- Guinea-Bissau’s José Mario Vaz
In in his first speech on Thursday, President Ghouzani said Mauritania’s people had written an important page in the country’s history and confirmed the maturity of its political system.
He succeeds President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who was barred from seeking a third term under the constitution. Aziz had backed Ghazouani, a former defense minister, in the June election that Ghazouani won with 52% of the vote.
Turnout was 62%. The opposition rejected the results and vowed to challenge the outcome but the Constitutional Court okayed the results paving the way for August 1 inauguration.
Mauritania, a moderate Islamic republic, has suffered five coups since independence from France in 1960. It has been led by military rulers for much of that time.