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Mauritania coup leader declared poll winner

Last Updated: Friday, July 24, 2009 - 10:03

Nouakchott: The man who led last year`s coup in Mauritania has officially won the presidency in weekend elections, the Constitutional Court said just hours after the head of the election commission resigned over doubts about the ballot.
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who had resigned as junta leader to run in the elections, received 52.47 percent of Saturday`s vote, according to the court. The final count matched preliminary results given on Sunday.

The victory came with controversy, however, as the election commission chief Sid`Ahmed Ould Dey, saying yesterday that complaints filed with both court and the commission "have sown doubts in my mind about the reliability of the election”.

He said, however, that he had no proof of irregularities in the vote, which international observers had said was free of major problems.

The court also dismissed an opposition motion arguing that the vote was unfair and the results should be thrown out. Judge Abdallahi Ould Ely Salem said, "The court did not find in its investigation anything to prove their allegations."

Saturday`s election represented a chance for the West African desert nation to resurrect billions of dollars in pledged international aid that was frozen after Aziz led the coup ousting democratically-elected president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi in August.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, July 24, 2009 - 10:03

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