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Mauritania: President Abdel Aziz set for re-election in boycotted poll

Mauritania: President Abdel Aziz set for re-election in boycotted poll
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Mauritania goes to the polls on Saturday but there is no suspense as to the result.

President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is sure to win re-election, with his main rivals boycotting a ballot they claim is biased in his favour.

All eyes therefore are on turnout.

Soldiers cast their votes one day early, on Friday, in order to patrol when the rest of the population follows suit.

From the men in uniform at least, the president looks to have no worries.

Hassan Mokhtar, an election official in charge of one polling station in the capital Nouakchott, said that just after midday on Friday the participation there was around 70 percent.

President Abdel Aziz came to power in an army coup in 2008, won an election the next year and is a Western ally against al Qaeda in the impoverished and unstable Sahel region of West Africa.

Riad Muasses, our correspondent in Mauritania, said: “The soldiers votes will doubtless be for the president not only because he is a former general but also because he has raised their means and their morale.”

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