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Mauritania: opposition parties reject ‘manipulated’ election results

May 17, 2023 at 11:09 am

The Mauritanian national flag in Nouakchott on 2 April 2019 [CARMEN ABD ALI/AFP via Getty Images]

The main opposition parties in Mauritania have rejected the results of the parliamentary, regional and local elections held last Saturday, describing them as “heavily manipulated”. They have called for the results in a number of areas to be annulled, including those in the capital, Nouakchott.

A joint press conference to announce this was held by the leaders of the Rally of Democratic Forces, the Union of the Forces of Progress party, the National Rally for Reform and Development, Al-Sawab, the People’s Progressive Alliance and the Alliance for Justice and Democracy. They expressed their belief that there was widespread manipulation of the voting process in Nouakchott and Boutlemet, as well as in many polling stations in other parts of the country.

The opposition hold the government and the Independent National Elections Commission responsible for the “violations and manipulation”, which will have a “profound impact on the course of political and democratic life in the country and [the elections’] repercussions.” The party leaders described the violations as an “electoral farce marked by systematic fraud in most regions of the country.”

They have formed a high-level “crisis committee”, whose members will be in continuous contact to follow up on the developments and take essential decisions.

In a joint statement distributed on the side-lines of the main press conference, the opposition leaders pointed out that the voters’ registration list has been tampered with. Voters, they alleged, were registered in areas to which they did not belong and did not reflect their political choices or service needs.

The statement pointed out that polling involved “fraud and chaos” across Mauretania. Many polling offices did not open until midday or later, and some did not receive voting cards for hours. “Moreover, the opening of voting offices after the end of the legal time at 19:00 followed instructions sent via WhatsApp from some leading politicians in the ruling Justice Party.”

READ: Mauritania opposition calls for cancellation of the election results in the capital