Mauritania opposition challenges gov't poll commission

Alaturka Politika Haberleri

By Mohamed al-Bakkai

NOUAKCHOTT (AA) – Mauritanian opposition leaders said Friday that they planned to lodge a legal appeal against the government’s unilateral formation of an electoral commission tasked with supervising upcoming polls.

In April, the presidency drew up an “independent” electoral commission tasked with overseeing parliamentary and local polls to be held later this year and a presidential election scheduled for 2019.

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On Friday, opposition leader Al-Hassan Ould Mohamed said he had already lodged a legal complaint against the move, which, he asserted, had been taken without prior consultation with the opposition.

While the opposition says the commission lacks a legal basis, the government has tried to justify the move by noting that half of the commission’s members were drawn from opposition parties that took part in a 2016 government-sponsored political dialogue initiative.

On May 13, Mauritanian opposition parties staged a demonstration in capital Nouakchott to demand the commission’s dissolution.

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