News

    Mauritanians Abroad Say Authorities Rigged Diaspora Voter List

    Some Diaspora Mauritanians are claiming that their names were deliberately left out of the final voter registration list for this Saturday’s presidential election. 

    Saturday’s election will pit former leader of the current military junta Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz against nine opposition candidates.  

    Mohamed Sidatt, former vice president of the Mauritanian community in the United States and opposition spokesman said the Mauritanian government deliberately left out the names of those believed to be opposition supporters.

    “As you know, there were two major registrations. The first one, the agenda was led by Abde Aziz unilaterally to organize elections on the sixth of June. And in that time all people who were favoring Abdel Aziz already registered. Meanwhile negotiations were going on Senegal, and at the end of the negotiations they decided to organize the elections on the 18,” he said.

    Sidatt said it was clear to the Mauritanian authorities that Diaspora voters registering after June 6 were not in favor of former junta leader Abdel Aziz.

    As a result, he said out of the estimated 700 people who registered at the Mauritanian Embassy in Washington after June 6, only 400 names appeared on the final list.

    Sidatt said his name was removed from the list because he has been an outspoken opponent of the August 6, 2008 coup that ousted President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdalahi.

    “I did and I have a valid Mauritanian passport, but my name did not appear on the final list. And I know it’s because I was an active voice against the military coup. That’s the only reason,” he said.

    Sidatt said the Mauritanian Embassy in Washington could not explain why his and other names were left out of the final voter list.

    “Actually I was called by the charge d’affairs at the embassy here, and during that night, we were all working together on the computer to finish this process and make sure that all had been sent in a very correct form to the Mauritanian Interior Ministry. And then today I called him in person about this issue and he was basically unable to have an answer,” Sidatt said.

    VOA contacted the Mauritanian Embassy in Washington about the allegations and was told by Charge d’Affairs Mohamed el Moctar Alaoui that the government had no comment.  He also advised against calling his number again.

    “That’s one more proof that they are trying in a direct way to use different means to basically go ahead with their massive fraud,” Sidatt said.

    He said he has contacted the U.S. State Department about the missing alleged missing Diaspora voter names.

    “We are trying very hard before the start of the election to attract the attention of the international community about this issue,” he said.

    For the first time in Mauritanian election, a former slave by the name of Messaoud Ould Boulkheir is believed to be one of the leading contenders.

    Sidatt described Boulkheir as the voice of ordinary Mauritanians.

    “He is aligned with Ahmed Ould Daddah, the main opposition leader, and he has most of the slaves in the Sahara Desert and everyone are supportive of him. He is our voice at the moment,” Sidatt said.

    He said Mauritanian authorities might be using the Diaspora to rig the elections because locally they cannot because of the presence of international observers. 


    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora