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Mauritania’s President Ghazouani launches re-election campaign 

June 16, 2024 at 10:56 am

Mauritania President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani at the Elysee Palace in Paris on January 11, 2021 [LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani launched his re-election campaign on Friday, ahead of the 29 June elections.

Thousands gathered in Nouakchott’s stadium to support the 67-year-old incumbent, who is widely expected to secure a second term, as reported by AP. Ghazouani promised to “step up” his social welfare initiatives, highlighting that over 1.5 million people have benefited from housing and financial aid during his first term.

Ghazouani also acknowledged the support of former opposition figures, stating, “The result of this policy of political appeasement with opponents is a great achievement for us and no one is any longer troubled for his opinions.”

Campaign activities have intensified, with tents lining the capital’s main streets and songs celebrating the seven presidential candidates. Among Ghazouani’s rivals are Hamadi Ould Sid’ El Moctar, leader of the Islamist party Tewassoul, and human rights activist Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid, who was runner-up in 2019.

However, the opposition has criticised the election process, describing it as “one-sided” and accusing the election commission (CENI) of failing to ensure fairness. They have called for biometric checks, which the commission deemed unfeasible due to time and cost constraints.

Ghazouani emphasised the government’s achievements over the past five years, particularly in economic resilience and public balance, making Mauritania’s economy one of the strongest in the region. Speaking in Nema yesterday, he outlined plans to continue and accelerate programmes in political stability, security, and social issues if re-elected, according to the Mauritanian Information Agency (AMI).

He pledged to combat corruption, launch an agricultural revolution, and enhance youth employment. Ghazouani also praised Mauritania’s national army, stating it is well-equipped and prepared to defend the country.

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