There have been scenes of celebration in Mauritania following the news that the leader of the country’s military junta has been elected President.
Final results gave General Mohammed Abdel Aziz 52.6 percent of the vote in the first round – enough to avoid a run-off. The ballot is the first since he seized power in a coup last year. He said: “I consider myself, after this election, as the President of all Mauritanians. This victory is the victory of the entire Mauritanian people, it’s a victory against misery, poverty, poor health and ignorance.” While there were no observers present from the EU and UN, representatives from the African Union and Arab League say turnout was high and voting was fair and transparent. However, the four main opposition parties have rejected the result of the election, describing the vote as a “sham”.