Mauritanian Interior Minister Mohamed Ould Rzeizim speaks to the media in Nouakchott, capital of Mauritania, July 19, 2009. The Mauritanian Interior Ministry said on Sunday that ex-coup leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has won the presidential election held on Saturday, winning 52.58 percent of the votes. (Xinhua/Ely)
The Mauritanian Interior Ministry said on Sunday that ex-coup leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has won the presidential election held on Saturday, winning 52.58 percent of the votes.
Interior Minister Mohamed Ould Rzeizim said Abdel Aziz got 409,100 votes, or 52.58 percent, surpassing the 50 percent threshold to win the presidency.
Abdel Aziz was among the nine candidates competing for the presidency of the nation of some three million people. He was followed by candidate Ahmed Ould Daddah who garnered 13.66 percent of the votes.
The interior minister was quoted by agencies as saying on Sunday that the results are provisional and will be sent to the country's Constitutional Court for validation.
The civilian government of Mauritania was overthrown on August 6, 2008, in a military coup led by General Abdel Aziz. On April 16,2009, he resigned from the military to run for presidency in the elections.
Due to disputes among different sections, the election was postponed from June 6 to July 18.
Voting proceeded peacefully on Saturday in this northwestern African country. Of the nation's 3.1 million population, some 1.2 million were registered voters.
After casting his own ballot on Saturday morning, Abdel Aziz told reporters the constructive changes he had promoted were good to the country and the Mauritanian people, therefore he was confident that he could win the election.
Mauritania covers an area of 1.03 million square km. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, by Senegal on the southwest, by Mali on the east and southeast, by Algeria on the northeast, and by Western Sahara on the northwest. The capital and the largest city is Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast.
The nation's coastal waters are among the richest fishing areas in the world. Fishing and iron ore mining contribute to much of Mauritania's exports and are pillars of the country's economy.