The northwestern African country of Mauritania will hold its first presidential election on March 11 after the military coup in August 2005.
The following are basic facts about the tree major hopefuls in the race:
Ahmed Ould Daddah, 65, is the candidate of the Assembly of Democratic Forces (RFD).
He is the brother of Moktar Ould Daddah who is Mauritania's first president after the country gained independence from France in 1960.
Daddah used to be the head of Mauritania's central bank.
As the candidate of the opposition, he garnered about 33 percent of the total votes in the presidential race in 1992.
Zein Zeidane, 41, used to be an economic expert in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
While serving as the chief of Mauritania's central bank in the regime of former President Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya, he played a successful role in solving the differences between the World Bank and Mauritania over economic figures and took measures to stabilize the value of ouguiya, the currency of Mauritania.
He promised to improve the status of women, help Mauritania shake off poverty and pursue good governance if elected.
Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdalahi is one of the "independent" candidates.
The man in his 60's has held several ministerial positions including the economy portfolio under previous administrations.