The Mauritanian presidential race will have to enter the second round that will be a run-off between Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdalahi and Ahmed Ould Daddah, the Mauritanian Interior Ministry announced on Monday.
The ministry said, with 86 percent of the votes having been counted, "independent" candidate Abdalahi garnered 22.76 percent of the support while Daddah, the candidate of the Assembly of Democratic Forces, seized 21.46 percent.
Former chief of Mauritanian Central Bank Zein Zeidane came to the third.
According to the figures from the ministry, the turnout stood at 60 percent, lower than that of the parliamentary and municipal elections held at the end of last year.
The European Union has dispatched 81 observers to monitor the polling.
The second round of the election will be held on March 25. The final result of the race will be announced by the Constitutional Council.