Mauritanian president reelected with overwhelming majority

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Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has won an overwhelming majority in the country’s presidential elections.

African Union election observers said the vote was held in a climate of relative peace and tolerance.

Turnout was 56 percent. Most of the opposition boycotted the election. They claimed that the process was flawed.

Abdel Aziz, an ally of Western powers in the fight against al Qaeda linked terrorists in West Africa, received 82 percent of the vote and will serve another five-year term in office.

The president’s closest rival, anti-slavery campaigner Biram Ould Dah Abeid, came in a distant second with nine percent of the vote.

Abdel Aziz came to power in an army coup in 2008. The following year he won a contested election.