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Mauritania legislative election set for September 1

Mauritania legislative election set for September 1

Mauritania’s government has confirmed legislative elections will be held on September 1 amid a row over a newly-created electoral commission, an official statement said Thursday.

Mauritanians will choose members of parliament as well as regional and local councillors.

The country’s opposition said in April it would contest in the upcoming legislative and municipal elections after previously boycotting votes in the country.

The National Forum for Democracy and Unity (FNDU), seen as a radical opposition group, has declined to participate in a number of votes against President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and his government, but said it would take part in the September elections.

Tensions have mounted over a new electoral commission set up in April without members of the radical opposition.

Opposition rejects electoral commision

Four parties are appealing to the Supreme Court for the commission to be withdrawn.

Mauritania’s president came to power in a coup in 2008 and was elected in 2009 and again in 2014 for a second five-year term.

Aziz championed a controversial referendum in August that included a constitutional amendment that abolished the country’s senate and ushered in a new national anthem and flag.

FNDU helped spearhead a boycott of that vote, having previously declined to take part in legislative polls in 2013.