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AFRICAN ELECTIONS DATABASE

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Elections in Mauritania
 
Political Profile
Political System: Restricted Democratic Practice 
President: Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (UPR) [since 6 August 2008; seized power in a 2008 military coup, elected 2009] The President is elected by direct popular vote for a 5-year term. Electoral System: Two Round (Run-off).
Prime Minister: Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf [since 14 August 2008] The Prime Minister is appointed by the President.
Parliament [bicameral] 
--Senate (56 Seats) 53 members are indirectly elected by municipal councillors, 3 additional members representing Mauritanians abroad are chosen by the senators; members serve 6-year terms.
--National Assembly (95 Seats) Members are elected by direct popular vote in single-member constituencies using the two-round (run-off) system; members serve 5-year terms
Electoral Authority: Independent National Electoral Commission
Political Situation since Independence
1960-1961 Restricted Democratic Practice
1961-1978 One Party State (PPM)
1978-1991 Military Regime
1991-1992 Multiparty Transition
1992-2005 Restricted Democratic Practice
2005-2007 Military Regime
2007-2008 Democracy
2008-2009 Military Regime
2009         Transitional Government
2009-        Restricted Democratic Practice
2012 Freedom House Rating: Political Rights - 6, Civil Liberties - 5, Status: Not Free
Next Scheduled Presidential Election: 2014
Next Scheduled Senatorial Election: 2013
Next Scheduled National Assembly Election: 2012
Political Parties: AC - Action for Change, Alternative*, APP - Popular Progressive Alliance, FP - Popular Front, HATEM - Mauritanian Party for Union and Change, PCD - Democratic Cooperation Party**, PLEJ - Party for Liberty, Equality, and Justice, PMR - Mauritanian Renewal Party, PMRC - Mauritanian Party of Renewal and Concord (centrist), PNDD-ADIL - National Pact for Development and Democracy, PPM - Mauritanian People’s Party, PRDR - Republican Party for Democracy and Renewal, PRDS - Democratic and Social Republican Party (authoritarian), PRM - Mauritanian Regroupment Party, PUDS - Social Democratic Unionist Party, RD - Democratic Renewal, RDU - Rally for Democracy and Unity, RFD - Rally of Democratic Forces, RNDLE - National Rally for Democracy, Liberty, and Equality, RNRD-Tawassoul - National Rally for Reform and Development, UCD - Union of the Democratic Center, UDP - Union for Democracy and Progress, UFD - Union of Democratic Forces, UFP - Union of the Forces of Progress, UNM - Mauritanian National Union, UPR - Union for the Republic, UPSD - Popular Social and Democratic Union.
Coalitions: National Front for the Defense of Democracy (FNDD) [Supported Messaoud Ould Boulkheir in the 2009 Presidential Election] Member parties include the Popular Progressive Alliance (APP), National Pact for Development and Democracy (PNDD-ADIL), and Union of the Forces of Progress (UFC).
*No Party Acronym Available.
**Sometimes called the Democratic Convergence Party.
 
Election Results
 
 
Presidential
--Single Party: 1966, 1971, 1976
--Multiparty: 1961, 1992, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2009
Legislative
--Single Party: 1965, 1971, 1975, 1976
--Multiparty: 1959, 1992, 1996, 2001, 2006
Referendums: 1958, 1991, 2006
 
 
28 September 1958 Constitutional Referendum
Main Points: Approval of the constitution meant internal autonomy within the "French Community." France agreed to grant independence to any territory that rejected the proposed constitution.
Ballot Question: Do you approve the Constitution proposed by the Government of the Republic?

Registered Voters

382,870

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

322,451 (84.2%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

    1,307

Total Valid Votes

321,144

Results Number of Votes % of Votes
"Yes" Votes 302,018 94.04%
"No" Votes 19,126 5.96%
 
17 May 1959 National Assembly Election*

Registered Voters

387,829

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

352,851 (91.0%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

    2,725

Total Valid Votes

350,126

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (40)
Mauritanian Regroupment Party (PRM) 350,126 100.00% 40
*The Mauritanian Regroupment Party received 100.00% of the valid votes cast and 99.23% of the total votes cast in the election.
 
Note: Mauritania gained independence from France on 28 November 1960. From that date until his election as President in August 1961, Prime Minister Moktar Ould Daddah was the country's acting Head of State.
 
20 August 1961 Presidential Election*

Registered Voters

397,588

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

371,808 (93.5%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

       838

Total Valid Votes

370,970

Candidate (Party) Number of Votes % of Votes
Moktar Ould Daddah (PRM) 370,970 100.00%
*Moktar Ould Daddah received 100.00% of the valid votes cast and 99.77% of the total votes cast in the election. The Mauritanian National Union (UNM) also supported his candidacy.
 
Note: On 25 December 1961, all of the country's political parties merged to form a single party - the Mauritanian People's Party (PPM).
 
Single Party Elections
Sole Legal Party: Mauritanian People's Party (PPM)
9 May 1965 National Assembly Election (40 Seats)

Registered Voters

482,305

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

447,660 (92.8%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

    1,816

Total Valid Votes

445,844 (99.59%)

PPM

445,844 (100.00%)

7 August 1966 Presidential Election (Moktar Ould Daddah re-elected unopposed)

Registered Voters

491,320

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

472,657 (96.8%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

    1,080

Total Valid Votes

471,577 (99.77%)

Moktar Ould Daddah

471,577 (100.00%)

8 August 1971 Presidential Election* (Moktar Ould Daddah re-elected unopposed)

Registered Voters

534,994

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

515,121 (96.3%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

    2,413

Total Valid Votes

512,708 (99.53%)

Moktar Ould Daddah

512,708 (100.00%)

*Some sources list the election date as 9 August 1971.
8 August 1971 National Assembly Election* (50 Seats)

Registered Voters

534,994

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

511,414 (95.6%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

    7,008

Total Valid Votes

504,406 (98.63%)

PPM

504,406 (100.00%)

*Some sources list the election date as 9 August 1971.
26 October 1975 National Assembly Election (70 Seats)

Registered Voters

661,416

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

578,201 (87.4%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

    3,443

Total Valid Votes

574,758 (99.40%)

PPM

574,758 (100.00%)

8 August 1976 Presidential Election (Moktar Ould Daddah re-elected unopposed)

Registered Voters

648,876

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

634,936 (97.9%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

    4,301

Total Valid Votes

630,635 (99.32%)

Moktar Ould Daddah

630,635 (100.00%)

8 August 1976 National Assembly Election
 
12 July 1991 Constitutional Referendum
Main Points: Multiparty System, Bicameral Parliament, No Presidential Term Limits

Registered Voters

857,121

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

731,512 (85.3%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

    3,020

Total Valid Votes

728,492

Results Number of Votes % of Votes
"Yes" Votes 713,493 97.94%
"No" Votes 14,999 2.06%
 
24 January 1992 Presidential Election

Registered Voters

1,183,892

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

   560,762 (47.4%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

     11,314

Total Valid Votes

   549,482

Candidate (Party) Number of Votes % of Votes
Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya (PRDS) 345,583 62.89%
Ahmed Ould Daddah (UFD) 180,658 32.88%
Moustapha Ould Mohamed Saleck 15,735 2.86%
Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mah (UPSD) 7,506 1.37%
*According to Mauritanian standards, blank votes (suffrages neutres) are regarded as valid in the official results of this election, separate from invalid votes (suffrages nuls). These votes are counted together in the table above, in line with internationally-accepted standards and those of African Elections Database. A side-by-side comparison of the election results using both the internationally-accepted and Mauritanian standards can be found here.
 
6 & 13 March 1992 National Assembly Election

Registered Voters

1,174,087

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

   456,237 (38.9%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

     10,912

Total Valid Votes

   445,325

Party Number of Seats (79)
Democratic and Social Republican Party (PRDS) 67
Rally for Democracy and Unity (RDU) 1
Mauritanian Party of Renewal (PMR) 1
Independents 10
 
11 & 18 October 1996 National Assembly Election*

Registered Voters

1,040,855

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

   541,849 (52.1%)

Party Number of Seats (79)
Democratic and Social Republican Party (PRDS) 70
Rally for Democracy and Unity (RDU) 1
Action for Change (AC) 1
Independents 7
*The main opposition party, Union of Democratic Forces (UFD), boycotted the election.
 
12 December 1997 Presidential Election*/**

Registered Voters

1,203,357

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

   900,200 (74.8%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

     19,191

Total Valid Votes

   881,009

Candidate (Party) Number of Votes % of Votes
Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya (PRDS) 801,190 90.94%
Chbih Ould Cheikh Malainine 61,869 7.02%
Moulaye El Hacen Ould Jeid (PMRC) 8,165 0.93%
Mohammed Mahmoud Ould Mah (UPSD) 6,443 0.73%
Kane Amadou Moctar 3,342 0.38%
*Boycotted by the main opposition parties. 
**According to Mauritanian standards, blank votes (suffrages neutres) are regarded as valid in the official results of this election, separate from invalid votes (suffrages nuls). These votes are counted together in the table above, in line with internationally-accepted standards and those of African Elections Database. A side-by-side comparison of the election results using both the internationally-accepted and Mauritanian standards can be found here.
 
19 & 26 October 2001 National Assembly Election

Registered Voters

1,028,630

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

   560,045 (54.4%)

Party Number of Seats (81)
Democratic and Social Republican Party (PRDS) 64
Action for Change (AC) 4
Union for Democracy and Progress (UDP) 3
Rally of Democratic Forces (RFD) 3
Rally for Democracy and Unity (RDU) 3
Union of the Forces of Progress (UFP) 3
Popular Front (FP) 1
 
7 November 2003 Presidential Election*

Registered Voters

1,106,827

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

   682,679 (61.7%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

   666,886

Candidate (Party) Number of Votes % of Votes
Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya (PRDS) 446,966 67.38%
Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla 124,483 18.77%
Ahmed Ould Daddah 45,687 6.89%
Messaoud Ould Boulkheir 33,239 5.01%
Moulaye El Hacen Ould Jeid 9,909 1.49%
Aïcha Mint Jeddane 3,040 0.46%
*Official results published by the Constitutional Council state that 666,886 valid votes were cast, but the distribution of votes among candidates totals 663,324 (a difference of 3,562 votes). Percentage figures in the table are based on the latter number of valid votes cast. Results based on the first figure (666,886 valid votes) are as follows: Ould Taya (67.02%), Ould Haidalla (18.67%), Ould Daddah (6.85%), Ould Boulkheir (4.98%), Ould Jeid (1.49%), and Jeddane (0.46%).
 
25 June 2006 Constitutional Referendum*/**
Main Points: A limit of two five-year terms for a president elected by popular vote; Maximum presidential age limit of 75.

Registered Voters

989,664

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

756,643 (76.5%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

  21,914

Total Valid Votes

734,729

Results Number of Votes % of Votes
"Yes" Votes 712,214 98.55%
"No" Votes 10,482 1.45%
*According to Mauritanian standards, blank votes (suffrages neutres) are regarded as valid in the official results of this referendum, separate from invalid votes (suffrages nuls). These votes are counted together in the table above, in line with internationally-accepted standards and those of African Elections Database. A side-by-side comparison of the election results using both the internationally-accepted and Mauritanian standards can be found here.
**Official results published by the Constitutional Council state that 722,778 valid votes were cast, but the distribution of ballots among yes, no, and neutral votes totals 722,696 (a difference of 82 votes). Percentage figures in the table are based on the latter number of valid votes cast.
 
19 November & 3 December 2006 National Assembly Election

Registered Voters

1,073,287

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

   788,029 (73.4%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

   122,716

Total Valid Votes

   665,313

Party Number of Seats (95)
Rally of Democratic Forces (RFD) 15
Union of the Forces for Progress (UFP) 8
Republican Party for Democracy and Renewal (PRDR) 7
Popular Progressive Alliance (APP) 5
Rally for Democracy and Unity (RDU) 3
Union for Democracy and Progress (UDP) 3
Mauritanian Party for Union and Change (HATEM) 2
Democratic Renewal (RD) 2
Rally of Democratic Forces-Union of the Forces for Progress (RFD-UFP) 2
Mauritanian Party for Union and Change-Popular Progressive Alliance (HATEM-APP) 2
Popular Front (FP) 1
Social Democratic Unionist Party (PUDS) 1
Alternative 1
National Rally for Democracy, Liberty, and Equality (RNDLE) 1
Union of the Democratic Center (UCD) 1
Independents 41
 
March 2007 Presidential Election
First Round (11 March 2007)

Registered Voters

1,133,152

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

   794,979 (70.2%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

     54,129

Total Valid Votes

   740,850

Second Round (25 March 2007)

Registered Voters

1,132,877

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

   764,045 (67.4%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

     57,340

Total Valid Votes

   706,705

Candidate (Party) First Round Second Round
Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Votes % of Votes
Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi 183,726 24.80% 373,520 52.85%
Ahmed Ould Daddah (RFD) 153,252 20.69% 333,185 47.15%
Zeine Ould Zeidane 113,182 15.28% - -
Messaoud Ould Boulkheir (APP) 72,493 9.79% - -
Ibrahima Moctar Sarr 58,878 7.95% - -
Saleh Ould Hanenna (HATEM) 56,700 7.65% - -
Mohamed Ould Maouloud (UFP) 30,254 4.08% - -
Dahane Ould Ahmed Mahmoud 15,326 2.07% - -
Mohamed Ould Cheikhna 14,200 1.92% - -
Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla 12,813 1.73% - -
Ethmane Ould Cheikh Ebi El Maali 10,868 1.47% - -
Ba Mamadou Alassane (PLEJ) 4,076 0.55% - -
Mohamed Ahmed Ould Baba Ahmed Ould Salihi 2,779 0.38% - -
Moulaye El Hacen Ould Jeid (PMRC) 2,535 0.34% - -
Chbih Ould Cheikh Malainine 2,111 0.28% - -
Rajel dit Rachid Moustapha (PMR) 1,977 0.27% - -
Sidi Ould Isselmou Ould Mohamed Ahid 1,784 0.24% - -
Isselmou Ould El Moustapha (PCD) 1,779 0.24% - -
Mohamed Ould Mohamed El Moctar Ould Tomi 1,465 0.20% - -
Mohamed Ould Ghoulam Ould Sidaty 652 0.09% - -
 
18 July 2009 Presidential Election

Registered Voters

1,265,063

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

   816,974 (64.6%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

     38,543

Total Valid Votes

   778,431

Candidate (Party) [Coalition] Number of Votes % of Votes
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (UPR) 409,024 52.54%
Messaoud Ould Boulkheir (APP) [FNDD] 126,520 16.25%
Ahmed Ould Daddah (RFD) 105,931 13.61%
Mohamed Jemil Ould Mansour (RNRD-Tawassoul) 36,864 4.74%
Ibrahima Moctar Sarr (AJD-MR) 35,553 4.57%
Ely Ould Mohamed Vall 29,862 3.84%
Kane Hamidou Baba 11,542 1.48%
Saleh Ould Hanenna (HATEM) 11,191 1.44%
Hamada Ould Meimou 9,980 1.28%
Sghair Ould M'Bareck* 1,964 0.25%
*Sghair Ould M'Bareck withdrew from the election, but his name remained on the ballot and he garnered votes.