Mauritania's ruling party has achieved a great victory in parliamentary and local elections, while a Muslim party has come second, the elections commission says. The commission said on Tuesday that based on the results from 121 seats which were won in the first round, the ruling Union for the Republic (UPR) and its allied parties have won a large majority in the 147-seat parliament, AFP reported.
The UPR won 56 seats and another 34 seats were won by 14 small parties associated with the ruling party. The main Muslim party Tewassoul, which was being closely-watched as it took part in elections for the first time, won 12 seats. Three other opposition parties won 19 seats in the elections, which were held on November 23. The national electoral commission postponed the second round of voting for the remaining 26 seats for two weeks until December 21.
Tewassoul was the only member of the 11-party Coordination of Democratic Opposition (COD) to resist an election boycott. In municipal elections, the UPR has already won 81 of 218 local councils across the country. Tewassoul won three and El-Wiam, another opposition party, took two.A remaining 120 councils will be determined in the run-off vote.
The voter turnout was announced to be a record-breaking 75 percent of the 1.2 million registered voters across the country. The first local and legislative elections in the West African country since 2006 were viewed as a test of strength for President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, five years after he came to power in a coup and four years after he won the presidential vote.