Voters in Mauritania go to the polls Saturday to choose a new
president. It is
an election to restore constitutional order following last year's
Friday is a day of reflection in Mauritania for voters to consider what they have heard from candidates over the past two weeks.
So what are people thinking?
university student in the southern city of Rosso says former military
leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is the right man to lead Mauritania
because he is determined to fight corrupt politicians.
support him because President Aziz is a man of actions and thought," he
said. "Most Mauritanian people support him because he came and tried to
make dramatic change in this country, and we as people, we as poor
people, we must go with him side-to-side and shoulder-to-shoulder."
Aziz led the coup last August that toppled Mauritania's first democratically-elected leader.
refused African Union demands to restore civilian authority and changed
the constitution to allow retired soldiers to run for office before
resigning his commission to run for president.
candidate Ahmed Ould Daddah's campaign posters ask, "Do you want to be
finished with coups d'etat?" Daddah is a former Central Bank Governor
who says Mauritanians can end the cycle of coups and transitional
governments in favor of a real democracy where decisions are made by
voters not soldiers.
This Daddah supporter in the capital says
Aziz is going to fall and break because of the electoral alliance
between Daddah and opposition lawmaker Messaoud Ould Boulkheir.
and Boulkheir have both vowed publicly to support the other in a
potential runoff against Aziz. Boulkheir is a former president of the
National Assembly who says this is a vote about defeating those who
take power through military force.
This woman leaving
Boulkheir's closing campaign rally says he is the one who will become
president, God willing. She says he represents and supports all
Mauritanians and is the one who can do things for the whole country.
than 250 electoral observers from the Arab League and African Union are
here to monitor Saturday's vote. Results are expected within 48 hours.
If no one wins more than 50 percent, the top two vote-getters will
face-off in a second-round of balloting August 1.