NOUAKCHOTT, June 24 (Reuters) - A candidate who came second in Mauritania’s June 21 presidential election on Tuesday rejected results announced by the national election commission, contending that fraud and irregularities marred the voting.
President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz won another five-year term with 82 percent of the vote, the election commission announced on Sunday following an election that was boycotted by most opposition parties.
Anti-slavery campaigner Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid came in a distant second with nine percent of the vote.
“We have filed an appeal at the Constitutional Council,” Ould Abeid told a news conference in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott, accusing the government of having influenced the election in order to favour President Abdel Aziz.
“If these elections were held under normal circumstances, I would get between 35 and 40 percent,” he said.
Two other unsuccessful candidates in the election have accepted the results and congratulated the president.
Abdel Aziz, a Western ally in the fight against al Qaeda-linked Islamists in West Africa, has run the nation straddling black and Arab Africa since he won a contested 2009 vote after leading a coup the year before. (Reporting by Kissima Diagana; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Grant McCool)