At stake in this election (June 21, 2014):
- The office of the President of Mauritania
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Moulaye Ould Mohamed LAGHDAF
- Assembly: Mauritania has a bicameral Parliament (Barlamane) consisting of the Senate (Majlis al-Shuyukh) with 56 seats and the National Assembly (Al Jamiya Al Wataniya) with 146 seats.
Description of electoral system:
- The President is elected by popular vote to serve for a 5-year term.[i] The President must be elected through absolute majority. If this majority is not obtained by one candidate in the first round, a second round is held within the next 15 days where 2 candidates (those having obtained the most votes in the first round) will run against one another.
- Most of the opposition parties have decided to boycott the presidential election, with Cheikh Sidi Ahmed Ould Babmine, head of the opposition National Forum for Democracy and Unity (FNDU), calling it a “masquerade.”[ii] The opposition also boycotted the parliamentary and local elections held last year.[iii] Many citizens also see the presidential election as pre-determined.[iv]
Main candidates in the presidential election:
- Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ
- No Political Party per Mauritania’s Constitution[v]
- Ibrahima Moctar SARR
- Lalla Mariam Mint Moulaye IDRISS
- Bodiel Ould HOUMEID
- Party for Democracy and Entente
- Biram Ould Dah Ould ABEID[vi]
- Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA)
- The last presidential election was held on 18 July 2009. There were ten presidential candidates and Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ won the election with 52.6% of the vote. Results can be found here. Legislative and municipal elections were held in November/December 2013, which also saw an opposition boycott.
- AZIZ was part of a coup that occurred on 6 August 2008 that deposed President Sidi Ould Cheikh ABDALLAHI.
Population and Voter Registration:
- Population: 3,516,806 (July 2014 est.)[vii]
- Registered Voters: 1,189,105 nationwide (November 2013)
[vi] Biram Ould Dah Ould ABEID is an anti-slavery activist who announced his intentions of running as an independent candidate in January 2014, http://www.unpo.org/article/17138