Voting is underway to choose a new president in Mauritania. The election is meant to
restore constitutional order following last year's coup.
officials read out voter identity cards so observers for presidential
candidates can check the names against the electoral roll at this
polling station in the Tevrak Zeina neighborhood of the capital.
candidates are running to return Mauritania to constitutional rule
after a coup eleven months ago toppled the nation's first
Yacoub Ould Abdallahi says he is voting to choose a president who will represent a clear break with the period of coups d'etat.
candidate Ahmed Ould Daddah has run a campaign asking voters if they
want to be finished with coups d'etat. The former central bank Governor
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.
General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz led last
August's coup and changed the constitution to allow military reservists
to run for office before stepping down to join the reservists and run
Kumba Bah is supporting Aziz because she says he
is making the changes that Mauritanians want. That is why she says this
election is different from the others.
Aziz has run a populist
campaign as the so-called "Candidate of the Poor" while promising to
jail his political opponents because he says they are corrupt.
no one wins more than 50 percent of ballots, the top two vote getters
will face-off in a second round August 1. Dadah and National Assembly
President Messaoud Ould Boulkheir have both vowed publicly to support
the other in a potential runoff against Aziz.
Ballot counting begins immediately after polls close. Provisional results are expected Sunday.