Africa Mauritania opposition candidate challenges presidential election result

Mauritania opposition candidate challenges presidential election result

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A man casts his vote at a polling station during presidential election in Nouakchott, Mauritania June 22, 2019.

The third place candidate in Mauritania’s presidential election filed an appeal late on Tuesday contesting the victory of ruling party candidate Mohamed Ould Ghazouani.

“I confirm that we have appealed to the Constitutional Council,” Mohamed Ould Boubacar said via text message on Wednesday, without elaborating.

Mauritania’s electoral commission declared Ghazouani winner last week with 52% of the vote. Anti-slavery campaigner Biram Dah Abeid came second with 18.58%, while Boubacar, who is backed by Mauritania’s biggest Islamist party, got 17.85%.

Boubacar and other opposition candidates have voiced concern about ballot papers being printed by a private company said to be rooting for Ghazouani’s victory. He has also complained about a lack of international observers.

The African Union, which promotes democracy, human rights and development on the continent, has said it was satisfied with the electoral process.

Mauritania’s largely peaceful election was the first in the sparsely populated Saharan nation’s history, since independence from France in 1960, to choose a successor to a democratically elected president.

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