Mauritania’s constitutional council confirms new president

World News

Ruling party presidential candidate and former Defense Minister Mohamed Ould El Ghazouani casts his ballot in Nouakchott, Mauritania, Saturday June 22, 2019. Mauritanians are choosing between outgoing President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz’s heir apparent and five opposition candidates who believe the front-runner would represent a continuation of his rule in this West African country battling Islamic extremism. (AP Photo/Elhady Ould Mohamedou)

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AP) —   Mauritania’s constitutional council has confirmed Mohamed Ould Ghazouani as the country’s president-elect.

The council announced Monday that Ould Ghazouania had been elected to a five-year term. He is to be inaugurated on August 1.

Ould Ghazouani, 62, a retired general who served as defense minister before being picked as the chosen successor to Mauritania’s outgoing president, won the June 22 election with 52% of the vote, according to the electoral commission.

The confirmation by the constitutional council paves the way for Mauritania’s first peaceful transfer of power since its independence from France in 1960, though retiring President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz hand-picked his successor. Aziz was barred from seeking a third term under Mauritania’s constitution.

The opposition challenged Ould Ghazouani’s victory but the constitutional council has confirmed the results.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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