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Tuesday, 1 July 2014 | MYT 4:20 AM

Challenge to Mauritania president's election win rejected

NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) - Authorities in Mauritania have rejected a challenge to President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz's victory in this month's election, giving him another five years in power.

Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid, an anti-slavery campaigner who came second in the June 21 vote, last week lodged a complaint against Abdel Aziz's victory, in which he won 82 percent of the vote.

However, the Constitutional Council, the top authority on election results, rejected the complaint, according to a statement issued late on Sunday that gave no further details. The decision cannot be challenged.

Ould Abeid, who won nine percent of the vote, told Reuters on Monday that he would decide later what action to take but be did not for now plan to call for street protests.

Abdel Aziz came to power in a 2008 military coup and then quit the army to run for election as president a year later.

As leader of a nation straddling black and Arab Africa, he has since become a key Western ally in the fight against al Qaeda-linked Islamists in West Africa.

(Reporting by Kissima Diagana; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Larry King)


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