Six candidates have declared their interest to run for the Presidential seat in Mauritania after official campaigns for the June 22 elections were opened on Friday.
The candidates are hoping to replace President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz after his second term tenure ends, in what is expected to be a historical democratic handover of power following the country’s many coups between 1978 to 2008.
The candidates include the ruling party’s Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, the former Minister of Defense, the main oppositions’s party coalition candidate Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar among others.
The opposition has expressed concerns in the elections pointing at the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), whose members are too close to the government.
The outgoing president, a former general who came to power in a coup in 2008, elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2014 called on the 4.5 million citizens to approach these elections in a spirit of responsible competition and in a climate of tolerance and solidarity.