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Polls open in Mauritania election

21 June 2014, 15:23

Nouakchott - Polls opened on Saturday in an election in Mauritania widely expected to hand a new term in office to ex-army general and President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

In several polling stations in the capital Nouakchott, small groups lined up before polls officially opened at 0700 GMT.

More than 1.3 million people are called to vote in the vast Arabic-speaking, largely desert country linking North and sub-Saharan Africa.

Abdel Aziz, who seized power in a 2008 coup, is poised to romp to victory as the main opposition parties have vowed to boycott the vote.

Opposition politicians have never accepted Abdel Aziz's 2009 election victory they say was marred by massive fraud.

The 57-year-old has built his career on a decisive campaign against al-Qaeda extremists in Mauritania, viewed by the West as a strategically important location in the battle against militants across the region.



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