- Title: Mauritania votes in contentious referendum to bolster president's power
- Date: 5th August 2017
- Summary: ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** (SOUNDBITE) (French) VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNION OF THE FORCES OF PROGRESS, LO GOURMO, SAYING: "We believe that this is not a real referendum but a masquerade which shows that there is a fake democracy and demonstrating once again the real intention of the President Abdel Aziz which is to have full power in amending the Constitution without being annoyed by the Constitution's rules." NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA (AUGUST 5, 2017) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WAITING OUTSIDE THE POLLING STATION WHERE ABDEL AZIZ VOTES ABDEL AZIZ ARRIVING AT THE POLLING STATION PRESS WAITING FOR ABDEL AZIZ TO VOTE ABDEL AZIZ VOTING BALLOT BOX READING (French and Arabic) "Referendum of August 5, 2017" SOUNDBITE (French) MAURITANIAN PRESIDENT, MOHAMED OULD ABDEL AZIZ, SAYING: "In regards to the opposition, it is said that the opposition has boycotted the vote, but in reality the opposition hasn''t boycotted the vote. It is a minor part of the opposition, I insist, a minor part of the opposition, a virtual opposition which doesn't exist - only virtually on the social media - which has boycotted the vote." MAN PUTTING HIS VOTE INTO THE BALLOT BOX VARIOUS OF ELECTION OFFICERS WORKING MAN WHO HAS VOTED PUTTING INK ON HIS FINGER ELECTORAL OFFICER MARKING ON AN ELECTORAL LIST PEOPLE WALKING INTO POLLING STATION VARIOUS OF ELECTORAL OFFICERS VERIFYING THE IDENTITY OF THE VOTERS MAN VOTING VARIOUS OF WOMAN PUTTING VOTE INTO BALLOT BOX WOMAN TALKING TO ELECTION OFFICIALS WOMAN VOTING VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WAITING OUTSIDE A POLLING STATION
- Embargoed: 19th August 2017 22:58
- Keywords: Referendum in Mauritania people voting president voting President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz Mauritania referendum
- Location: NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA
- City: NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA
- Country: Mauritania
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0036SVQVD3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Mauritania held a contentious referendum on Saturday (August 5) to alter the constitution amid widespread opposition claims that the vote is a ploy to increase presidential power.
Tension has mounted in the lead-up to the referendum which called for the abolition of the senate and the merging of other key institutions, though the capital Nouakchott was calm on Saturday.
The opposition, concerned that the vote will give President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz too much power and pave the way for him to scrap presidential term limits, has boycotted the vote.
Mauritania has never had a peaceful transfer of power and senior officials have raised concerns by speaking in favour of lifting term limits, currently set at two five-year terms. Abdel Aziz last year said that he had no plans to extend the presidential mandate.
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