The ruling party in Mauritania has won a landslide victory in last week's legislative and local elections, according to official results on Sunday
The results were not a suprise. The El Insaf ruling party was expected to win in a field of 25 parties in a country with just1.8 million voters.
As a result, El Insaf took 80 of the 176 seats in parliament, the independent electoral commission (CENI), Dah Abdel Jelil, anounced.
It also won all 13 regional councils and 165 of the 238 local constituencies up for grabs.
The result will be welcomed by the veteran head of state, President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, ahead of next year's presidential poll.
The vice-president of the party Mohamed Yayha Horma said the result was expected.
"We knew we had an effective track record and a robust campaign," he said.
"Our election campaign machine is much more powerful than the others...it gave results. If you count the number of offices and bureaus where there were reported irregularities and for which we are asking for full correction, you will see that it has absolutely no impact on this election."
Eyes are on the next presidential polls
The elections are the first since 2019, when the president came to power.
He has since overseen the West African country's relative stability in an increasingly violent Sahel region.
He is widely expected to seek re-election in 2024, although he has not confirmed his plans.
Thirty-six other seats also went to parties allied to the president, while 24 went to the opposition, nine of them to the conservative Islamist Tewassoul movement, which was the main opposition group in the outgoing parliament.
Official turnout was reported to be of 71.8 percent. However, the opposition complained of "massive fraud" in the elections.
"If we look at the strong presence of the Tewassoul party," said Soubbi Weddady, vice-president of the Islamist party, "and its popularity...throughout the campaign, it is clear that if these elections had been organised in a completely transparent manner, we would have had much better results. Despite all this, Tawassoul retains its place as the leading opposition force, which confirms its important place on the political spectrum."
There will be a run-off vote on 27 May for the remaining 36 parliamentary seats.