Mauritania’s president faces six challengers in upcoming election

Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani will confront six contenders in the presidential elections set for June 29, as confirmed by the constitutional council on Monday.

The 67-year-old incumbent is widely expected to secure a second term, governing a nation of 4.5 million people strategically located between North and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The council notably rejected the candidacy of former president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who is currently imprisoned on embezzlement charges—allegations he has consistently denied.

Despite being temporarily released last week to file his candidacy, Aziz’s application was turned down due to an insufficient number of sponsors, according to a source close to the council.

The upcoming election will see a diverse array of candidates, including Hamadi Ould Sid’ El Moctar, leader of the opposition party, and Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid, a prominent human rights activist who finished second to Ghazouani in the 2019 elections.

These challengers represent various political and social factions within the country.

Mauritania has a tumultuous history of political instability, with a series of coups from 1978 to 2008.

The 2019 election was a significant milestone, marking the first peaceful transition of power between two elected presidents. This year’s election is seen as a crucial test for the country’s democratic resilience.

While the Sahel region has been plagued by violence, particularly in neighboring Mali, Mauritania has remained relatively peaceful, with no reported attacks since 2011.

The stability of the nation in the face of regional unrest will be a key issue as voters head to the polls.

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