A short note on Mauritania's presidential elections, having previously reported on them. For more information on the elections, and some clever speculation on what will happen next, see Head Heeb.
The voting on March 11 went well, fair and free according to observers. Off to second round are Sidi Muhammad Ould Cheikh Abdellahi and Ahmed Ould Daddah. The former is widely seen as -- well, he is -- the ousted regime's candidate, as well as a favorite of the ruling junta, who promises stability and such (his election slogan is "The Reassuring President"). The latter is a half-brother of Mauritania's first president, Mokhtar Ould Daddah, and went into opposition when he was overthrown in 1978 (slogan: "The Necessary President").
Rivals they may be now, but in fact both served as ministers in old Mokhtar's last government -- brother Ahmed as minister of state for finance, and "Sidioca" as minister of state for the economy -- and both were sent to jail by the CMRN junta that took over. Ahmed Ould Daddah never reconciled with the colonels' regimes that followed, but Abdellahi would become prime minister under Mouaouiya Ould Tayaa (president 1984-2005).
When asked in a free and fair poll, then, Mauritanians voted 24,79% for reassurance, and 20,68% for necessity. Now both presidential hopfuls will begin an intensive two weeks of stitching together coalitions with the defeated candidates and community leaders, in order to gain those last 25-30%.
Final results are below, taken from an Interior Ministry statement, but comments and translation are Western Sahara Info's.
Registered voters: 1134774
Number of voters: 795083
Invalid votes: 50708, or 6,37%
Blank votes: 3309, or 0,41%
Votes given: 741066
- Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdellahi: 183743 votes, thus 24,79% - 2nd round.
- Ahmed Ould Daddah: 153242 votes, thus 20,68% - 2nd round.
- Zein Ould Zeidane: 113194 votes, thus 15,27% (1)
- Messaoud Ould Boulkheir: 72611 votes, thus 9,80% (2)
- Ibrahima Mokhtar Sarr: 58818 votes, thus 7,94% (3)
- Saleh Ould Mohamedou Ould Hanenna: 56718 votes, thus 7,65% (4)
- Mohamed Ould Mouloud: 30265 votes, thus 4,08% (5)
- Dehane Ould Ahmed Mahmoud: 15316 votes, thus 2,07%
- Mohamed Ould Cheikhna: 14265 votes, thus 1,92%
- Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidallah: 12807 votes, thus 1,73% (6)
- Ethmane Ould Cheikh Ahmed Ebilmaali: 10874 votes, thus 1,47%
- Ba Mamadou Alassane: 4078 votes, thus 0,55% (7)
- Mohamed Ahmed Ould Babahmed Ould Salihi: 2789 votes, thus 0,38%
- Moulaye El Hacen Ould Jeid: 2536 votes, thus 0,34%
- Chbih Ould Cheikh Malainine: 2117 votes, thus 0,29%. (8)
- Rajel ("Rachid") Mustapha: 1976 votes, thus 0,27%
- Sidi Ould Isselmou Ould Mohamed Dahid: 1804 votes, thus 0,24%
- Isselmou Ould El Moustapha: 1790 votes, thus 0,24%
- Mohamed Ould Mohamed El Mokhtar Ould Towmi: 1470 votes, thus 0,20%
- Mohamedou Ould Ghoulam Ould Sidati: 653 votes, thus 0,09%
(2) A former slave, human rights advocate and activist for Haratin (ex-slave) rights.
(3) Activist for the black African southern population, formerly allied with Messoud Ould Boulkheïr. He was jailed for co-writing the Manifesto of the Oppressed Negro-Mauritanians in 1986.
(4) Involved in the failed 2003 coup, and supported in this election by Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Islamists.
(5) Leader of the leftist UFP opposition party, where Ahmed Ould Daddah used to be a member.
(6) A former dictator in 1979-84, member of the mainly Sahrawi Laâroussien tribe, who had notoriously poor relations with Morocco.
(7) The election's other black candidate, campaigning for the return of refugees in Senegal.
(8) Despite having pulled out of the race weeks ago, in favor of Ould Heidallah.