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Mauritania Decides: Voters Choose New Leader Amid Economic Hardship 



People rest under an electoral banner for presidential candidate Outouma Soumaré ahead of the presidential candidate, in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on June 25, 2024.

In a pivotal moment for the West African nation, Mauritanians went to the polls on Saturday, June 29, to elect a new president.

The highly contested election saw seven candidates, including incumbent President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, vie for the top office. Opposition leaders Hamadi Sidi Mokhtar Mohamed Abdi and Biram Dah Abeid are among those challenging the president.

As voters cast their ballots, concerns about youth unemployment, terrorist threats, and the rising cost of living weighed heavily on their minds. The ruling El Insaf party’s landslide victory in last year’s legislative election has raised expectations for a tight race.

With 1.9 million eligible voters, the election’s outcome will have significant implications for Mauritania’s future. Results are expected in the coming days, and a runoff election may be held on July 14 if no candidate secures a majority.

This election is a crucial test for Mauritania’s democratic progress, with international observers watching closely. The next president will face the daunting task of addressing the country’s pressing issues, including economic growth, security, and social justice.

The world watches as Mauritania takes this critical step in shaping its future.

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