Presidential candidates from the opposition parties in Mauritania have called for transparency in the electoral process as voting kicked off on Saturday.
The politicians sighted fear in electoral fraud.Mauritania’s biggest Islamist party Tawassoul’s candidate, Former Prime Minister Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar expressed his concerns for the elections and hopes of the process not being “sullied by vice”.
“We continue to hope and we are working to participate in these elections and we wish for them to be transparent, honest and that they not be sullied by vice,” said Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar, The Moderate Islamist Tawassoul presidential candidate.
Coalition of Union of Forces of Progress party and the Democratic Forces Rally candidate Mohamed Ould Maouloud said the ruling party had controlled the electoral process and excluded opposition candidates during the campaign.
“In view of the fact the whole process has been totally misleading and led by a single camp, from the CENI (independent electoral commission) all the way to the electoral list and the whole of the operation, that the opposition candidates are totally excluded, there are reasons to fear that during the poll today there will be an attempt to manipulate the results,” said Mohamed Ould Maouloud, Union of the Forces of Progress Party.
President Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz end of tenure has allowed the country to hold its first democratic handover of power since independence.
Polls are scheduled to close at 7 p.m. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the election will go to a second round next month.