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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
said the Mauritanian Embassy in Washington could not explain why his and other
names were left out of the final voter list.
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.
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
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.
said he has contacted the U.S. State Department about the missing alleged missing Diaspora
are trying very hard before the start of the election to attract the attention
of the international community about this issue,” he said.
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.
described Boulkheir as the voice of ordinary Mauritanians.
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.
said Mauritanian authorities might be using the Diaspora to rig the elections
because locally they cannot because of the presence of international observers.