Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Islamist party cries foul over Mauritania election

Mauritania's main Islamist party said on Monday the country's parliamentary and local elections had been marred by "ballot stuffing" and other forms of fraud. Tewassoul president Jemil Ould Mansour told a news conference the party had found "serious irregularities" which could discredit Saturday's polls, including "ballot stuffing in some places and the resumption of the vote after the count in others.

We cannot accept this fact in any way and we have sent a delegation to the (election commission) to talk about it," he said. He did not say which parties had benefited from the alleged ballot stuffing, a form of electoral fraud in which people submit multiple ballots during a vote in which only one ballot per person is allowed.

State television put the turnout at around 60 per cent, with the ruling Union for the Republic (UPR) widely expected to retain power but with many analysts expecting Tewassoul, only legalised in 2007, to make significant gains. Around 1,500 candidates from 74 parties representing the administration and the so-called "moderate" opposition were registered to vie for 147 seats in parliament and the leadership of 218 councils.

But Tewassoul was the only member of the so-called "radical" opposition, the 11-party Coordination of Democratic Opposition (COD), contesting the polls. The other coalition partners boycotted the vote. The electoral commission, which has been drip-feeding results from individual polling stations since Saturday, issued a statement saying the delay in announcing an overall picture was due to the "complexity" of the process and the need to be thorough.

Source: Africa Review

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