After Ghazouani was declared the winner, opposition parties were quick to call fraud and a "new coup", requesting a recount.
Mauritania's governing party candidate, Mohamed Cheikh El-Ghazouani, has won the presidential election with 52 percent of the vote, the electoral commission announced on Sunday.
After Ghazouani was declared the winner, opposition parties were quick to call fraud and a "new coup", requesting a recount. "We reject the results of the election and we consider that they in no way express the will of the Mauritanian people," anti-slavery campaigner Biram Dah Abeid said, promising that the opposition would use "every legal means" to challenge them.
Abeid came in second with 18.58 percent, while third place candidate Mohamed Ould Boubacar, who is backed by the country's biggest Islamist party, got 17.85 percent. This electoral process was marked by voters turning out in record numbers on Saturday, about 62.7 percent according to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Issues for the president-elect remain to preserve the fragile stability of the Western Sahara country, assure its economic development along with the respect of Human rights.
���� Mauritania: interestingly, parts of the political class is in denial about Biram's meteoric rise & his spectacular results tonight; an inch away from second position. It's so dramatic that there's a sense of shock leading to refusal to deal with a new redrawn political map. pic.twitter.com/LrIOPsOvmz— Weddady (@weddady) June 23, 2019
The elections mark a transition between two elected presidents in a country which has endured many coups between 1978 and 2008 when outgoing President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz came to power after a coup, before being elected one year later in 2009. Abdel Aziz could not present himself for a third term.
But his four opponents fear the perpetuation of a military regime and risks of fraud. They vowed to unite and to support each other in the case a run-off vote. Presidential candidate Boubacar, addressing a news conference along with three other candidates, warned that "multiple irregularities... eliminated any credibility" of Saturday's vote.
As opposition refuses to accept Ghazouani's win, both in the capital city of Nouakchott and in the northwestern city of Nouadhibou protestors took to the streets. According to security sources, police dispersed demonstrators with tear gas and batons, while other sources close to the opposition have reported injuries.
Despite it, the ruling party’s candidate has vast support as he campaigned on continuing economic and security progress made under the outgoing president.
Abdel Aziz managed to stabilize Mauritania, as the country was severely hit in the 2000s by attacks from Islamists groups and numerous kidnappings of tourists. The president rebuilt the army, increased territorial surveillance and worked on the development of remote areas.
However, and despite his economic record, Abdel Aziz has been criticized for not addressing the country's most urgent injustice, the existence, and persistence of slavery.
Mauritanian society is marked by enormous disparities between Arab-Berbers, Haratinas (descendants of slaves) and Afro-Mauritanians. Rights organizations report thousands of black Mauritanians are still domestic slaves to lighter-skinned masters of Arab or Berber ethnic group.
Meanwhile, the United Nation (U.N.) Secretary-General, Antonio Gutierres, congratulated Mauritanians "for their peaceful holding of the presidential election," while urging for "all candidates to be patient and to let the CENI conduct the electoral process".