- Title: Mauritania votes to broaden president's power as opposition boycotts
- Date: 7th August 2017
- Summary: NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA (AUGUST 5, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (French) POLITICAL ANALYST, MOUHAMED VAL OULD OUMERE, SAYING: "The referendum which is actually taking place in Mauritania causes disagreements and violent discussions, therefore there are many demonstrations and counter-demonstrations taking place. The speeches are increasingly violent on both sides. There are two opposing camps, the one who is boycotting and refusing to participate to the vote and the camp which is participating in the vote, by voting in favour or against it, or, as the Popular Progressive Alliance, who is in favour of the institutional reforms but against the changes of the flag symbols. Those three camps are clashing with each other. However, everyone is aware that there will be a post referendum and that after the referendum there will be a new political landscape, with new regional councils, with new elections for the National Assembly and for the local councils and so on. So this electoral process will allow a new political class to emerge and will bring many other changes, therefore this is the reason why the climate is very tense". NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA (AUGUST 7, 2017) (REUTERS) HANDS OF UNIDENTIFIED MAN OPENING NEWSPAPER MAN READING NEWSPAPER
- Embargoed: 21st August 2017 20:30
- Keywords: Mauritania referendum president's powers national flag vote counting newspaper headlines
- Location: NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA
- City: NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA
- Country: Mauritania
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0056T5SCP3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Mauritania has voted in favor of a referendum to abolish the senate and change the national flag in what the West African county's opposition says is just a bid by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to bolster power and extend his mandate.
The referendum won 85 per cent of the vote, the national electoral commission said on Sunday (August 6), though only a little over half of the population voted.
The opposition, which boycotted the vote, said the referendum would give Abdel Aziz too much power over decision-making and pave the way for him to scrap presidential term limits. It said the vote was marred by fraud.
The capital Nouakchott was on high alert before the vote on Saturday (August 5) due to opposition protests the week before, though voting went ahead on Saturday without incident. A strong police presence was seen on Sunday, according to a Reuters witness.
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