With a few hours remaining before the registration deadline for Mauritania's presidential elections, 21 candidates have officially registered for the race, according to reports on Friday.
Among the already registered candidates, eight are representing political parties while the remaining 13 are "independent". The registration of candidates ends Friday mid-night local time.
The contest will most likely be between the candidates of the Assembly of Democratic Forces (RFD), Ahmed Ould Daddah who is also a candidate in 1993 and 2003 presidential elections, the Popular Progressive Alliance (APP), Mesaoud Ould Belkheir who is also a candidate in 2003 presidential elections and the Union of Progressive Forces (UFP), Mohamed Ould Maouloud.
Former president Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla who led the country from 1980 to 1984, former minister Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdalahi and former parliamentarian Sarr Ibrahima, a prominent figure within Mauritania's black community, are among the " independent" candidates in the elections.
The presidential elections will mark the end of the political transition period started in the country after the coup that toppled the regime of President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya on Aug. 3, 2005.