Nouakchott: A woman has put forward a rare bid for the presidency of Mauritania, a west African nation run under strict Islamic law, the country`s Constitutional Council said on Wednesday.
"Lalla Mariem Mint Moulaye Idriss dropped off a file at the Constitutional Council containing her candidacy for the June 21 presidential elections," the body said in a statement.
Idriss, 57, an independent candidate, is only the second woman to ever seek election in a presidential poll in Mauritania, following the candidacy of Aicha Mint Jedeine who ran in 2003.
Women are weakly represented in the Islamic country, occupying only 20 per cent of elected posts, and calls for equality in politics have grown.
Idriss, married with four children, is the head of the governing body of the Mauritanian news agency AMI.
Two other candidates had filed their intention to run as the midnight deadline loomed.
They are President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz -- who is seeking reelection -- and Boidel Ould Houmeid the head of the moderate El-Wiam party which currently counts seven lawmakers in the 147-seat parliament.
The radical National Forum for Democracy and Unity (FNDU) opposition coalition said on Monday it was boycotting the vote after what it said was a breakdown in dialogue with government.
The FNDU combines the Islamist movement Tewassoul and 10 parties allied in the Coordination for a Democratic Opposition, which boycotted parliamentary and municipal elections last year.