World Bulletin / News Desk
Mauritanian voters cast their ballot Saturday in the first round of the country's presidential election.
Around 1.3 million people are eligible to vote in the polls, which pit incumbent President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz against four other competitors.
Mauritania's opposition parties had earlier announced their boycott of the vote. The opposition Al-Wiam Democratic and Social Party, however, bucked this trend and said it would participate.
If Abdel Aziz secures enough votes to preserve the post of president for a new term, he cannot run in his country's next presidential elections, according to the Mauritanian constitution, which limits the number of terms a president can have in office to two five-year ones.
A week of presidential campaigning ended in all Mauritanian cities on Thursday. Abdel-Aziz's main challengers are former government minister Boidel Ould Houmeid, head of Al-Waim Party; and Ibrahima Sarr, head of the AJD-MR Party, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2009.
On Friday, thousands of Mauritanian police and army personnel cast ballots ahead of voting by civilians.Last Mod: 21 Haziran 2014, 11:43