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Last year Mauritania’s first democratically elected president, Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, was ousted in a coup led by General Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz.
Next week, the country goes to the polls to elect a president but opposition parties say the elections won’t be fair and are asking people to stay away.
Though a few opposition candidates are still in the race, analysts say there is no real threat to Abdel Aziz and expect him and his Union for the Republic party to win. Meanwhile the opposition coalition holds regular protests.
“Mauritania does not belong to anyone. What we are looking for is democracy, and the person who killed democracy is Ould Abdel Aziz,” said opposition leader Massaoud Boukheir at a rally against the ruling junta.
“I am protesting for my rights and my responsibilities. Enough time has gone by for us to have achieved democracy by now,” Souleymane Camara, a protester who attended the rally, told Reuters Africa Journal.