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Mauritania’s ruling party wins majority of seats in parliament

AFP

Mauritania’s ruling party, the Union for the Republic, has won the majority of seats in parliament and is poised to also take home local elections, official results showed on Sunday.

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According to poll results, the party scored 74 out of 147 seats, but together with its allies, it will control a total of 108 seats.

Tewassoul, a formerly banned Islamist party that wants to establish Sharia law, clinched 16 seats.

In the local elections, the results pointed to a win for the Union for the Republic party in 154 of the country’s 218 municipalities.

Following independence from France in 1960 and the ensuing one-party government of Moktar Ould Daddah, deposed in 1978, Mauritania had a series of military rulers until its first multi-party election in 1992.

This latest election was seen as a test of strength for President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz five years after he came to power in a coup and four years after he won a widely contested vote.

Mauritania is seen as strategically important in the fight against Al-Qaeda-linked groups within its own borders, as well as in neighbouring Mali and across Africa's Sahel region.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
 

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