Six provisional candidates cleared for Mauritania polls

While campaign is expected to commence on the June 7, Mauritanians will take to the polls on the June 22 to elect a president
Six provisional candidates cleared for Mauritania polls
The Union pour la Republique (UPR) party candidate for the presidential elections, Mohamed O. Gazhouani, supported by the running political party, arrives for a meeting in Chinguetti on April 11, 2019. – The first round of presidential elections will take place in June 2019. (Photo by Carmen Abd Ali / AFP)

Six aspirants have been cleared on provisional basis by Mauritania’s constitutional court for the presidential polls holding in the country on June 22, less than three weeks from now.

The six aspirants cleared by the court are: Mohamed Ould Cheikh Mohamed Ahmed (Ould El Ghazouani) of the ruling party and current Defence Minister; Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar of the National Rally for Reform and Development, a former head of transitional government; and Biram Dah Abeid, a rights activist.

Others are Mohamed Ould Mouloud, a long-standing opposition figure; Kane Hamidou Baba; and Mohamed Lemine al-Mourtaji al-Wafi.

While campaign is expected to commence on June 7, Mauritanians will take to the polls on June 22 to elect a president who will lead the country for the next five years.

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After spending two constitutionally-guaranteed terms in office, 62-year-old incumbent president, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz steps down, and if after the first round of elections, there is no outright winner, there will be a runoff election to be held on the July 6, according to presidential decree.

President Abdel Aziz, a former military general, played a major role in a successful coup in 2005 that toppled a government that deposed President Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya. In 2008, he led another coup that toppled the government of Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.

Following the 2008 coup, Abdel Aziz became President of the High Council of State as part of what was described as a political transition leading to a new election. He later won the election conducted in 2009 and went on to secure a second term in 2014.

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