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Mauritanians vote in parliamentary, local polls

Around 1.4 million Mauritanians are eligible to cast ballot in Saturday’s polls

Mauritanians vote in parliamentary, local polls FILE PHOTO

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania

Mauritanian voters began to cast ballot in the country’s parliamentary and local election on Saturday. 

Polling stations opened at 07:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) and will close at 07:00 p.m. (0700 GMT). 

Around 1.4 million Mauritanians are eligible to cast the ballot in Saturday’s polls, which are being held in the absence of international observers.

A high voter turnout was reported in a number of polling stations in the capital Nouakchott, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter.

On Saturday, some 98 Mauritanian political parties are vying for seats on the country’s 146-member legislative assembly and on numerous municipal councils.

For the first time ever, parties are also competing for seats on Mauritania’s 13 regional councils.

While opposition figures have questioned the integrity of the electoral process, the government -- led by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz’s Union for the Republic (UFR) party -- has promised to hold “free and transparent” elections.

Reporting by Mohamed El-Bakai; Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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