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Chief of Mauritanian Electoral Commission Resigns


The chairman of Mauritania's electoral commission has resigned, saying he is uncertain about last week's presidential election.

In a statement Thursday, Sid'Ahmed Ould Deye said complaints from opposition candidates have "sown doubts" in his mind about the reliability of the election.

The leader of last year's military coup in Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, was declared the winner of Saturday's poll with 52 percent of the vote. However, three defeated candidates have filed an appeal with the country's constitutional court, alleging massive fraud. The court has eight days to consider the appeal.

African Union and Arab League observers have said the July 18 vote was fair, while former colonial power France said there were no major anomalies.

General Aziz came to power last August in a coup that toppled Mauritania's first democratically elected president. He later resigned from the army to run in the election.

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