Mauritania votes to elect new president

Voters in Mauritania headed to the polls Saturday (Jun. 29) to elect their new leader.

Some 1.9 million Mauritanians are eligible to cast a ballot.

7 candidates are vying for the top office including incumbent president Mohamed Ould Ghazouani.

Prominent opposition figures include the leader of the first opposition party in parliament Hamadi Sidi Mokhtar Mohamed Abdi and Biram Dah Abeid, an anti-discrimination activist.

Results are expected in the coming days.

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If no candidate is able to secure at least 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election will be held on July 14.

Last year, the ruling El Insaf party scored a crushing victory in the legislative election, taking 107 of the 176 seats in the National Assembly.

Youth unemployment, the terrorist threat in neighboring countries which fuel displacement towards Mauritania and the cost of living are some of the voters’ concerns.

Additional sources • AP – AL Jazeera – RFI