Mauritania – Senate election

On Sunday there were elections for a partial renewal of the Senate in Mauritania. There is a report in Jeune Afrique.

The Senate comprises 56 seats and 17 were up for renewal. Prior to the renewal, the Union pour la République (UPR), the party of the incumbent president, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, held 35 seats, while reports that only 11 Senators were in the opposition.

Senators are elected indirectly in single-member constituencies by councillors. They serve for six years and one-third of the Senate is renewed every two years.

On Sunday, the UPR won 12 of the 17 seats. In one seat in the capital, Nouakchott, the moderate (and supposedly opposition) islamist party, Tewassoul, won a seat, though it was in alliance with the UPR. In two seats, independents were returned ahead of the UPR. In one consitutency there will be a second ballot between the UPR and an opposition FNDD/RFD list, though the UPR is expected to win. The seat for diaspora Mauritanians will be contested later. There is a newspaper report in French from Nouakchott Info here.

The opposition complained prior to the election that the process was not fair and accused the government of buying the votes of local councillors.

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