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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs