Middle East voters have had enough of election fraud: Where is my vote? Mauritania Edition
Just as thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets to protest a seemingly rigged presidential election, now thousands of voters in Mauritania – at the other end of the Middle East – are marching under a green banner that reads: “Where is my vote?” A style of civic mobilization appears to once again spreading out of Iran, offering a model to dissidents throughout the region.
The Mauritanian protests began after the July 18 elections, where General Abdel Aziz, who took power in a coup last year, claimed to have won 52% of the vote in a multi-candidate race. However, accusations of voter fraud have run rampant, and opponents are asking for an international investigation and calling the vote “prefabricated”. Two incriminating videos have surfaced to buttress these claims: One video allegedly shows a ‘fraud factory’ in which pro-Aziz campaign staffers are seen duplicating voter ID cards to allow people to vote twice. Another video, taken on the day of the vote, shows Aziz’s supporters purchasing ID cards from underprivileged citizens, supposedly to use them to vote for Aziz.
The four main opposition candidates have rejected the outcome, the European Union has called for a proper inquiry, and the chairman of Mauritania’s Electoral Commission has resigned in protest. Hundreds of Mauritanians have taken to the streets to protest the apparent fraud, and the opposition has already adopted the slogan “Where is my vote?” – translating it into Arabic and French as a rally cry. No Iran-like crackdown on protestors has yet erupted, though it appears the struggle – as in Iran – is far from over.
More news of the civil rights movement in the Middle East at the CRIME Report.