#Mauritania ruling party’s Ghazouani wins presidency: Electoral body

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Mauritania’s government, which has positioned itself as an ally of the West against Islamist militants, declared victory on Sunday in the country’s presidential election but opposition candidates said they could contest the results.

Mauritania’s ruling party candidate Mohamed Ould Ghazouani has won the presidential election with 52 percent of the vote, the electoral commission announced on Sunday with results from all polling stations counted.

Ghazouani obtained 52.01 percent of votes cast in Saturday’s presidential election, easily beating his main opposition opponents Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid (18.58 percent) and Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar (17.87 percent), according to the official figures.

Earlier on Sunday, Ghazouani declared himself the winner of the first round of Mauritania’s presidential election.

The 62-year-old former head of the domestic security service made the claim in the early hours of Sunday in the presence of current president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, his supporters and journalists.

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