Mauritania’s president accused the opposition on Tuesday of buying up people’s identity cards in an attempt to prevent them from voting in an upcoming election. President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, an ex-army general, is seeking re-election in the vote this Saturday, and rival politicians have called for voters to boycott what they call a “sham” election. The president’s spokesman said the government had received reports that the opposition was buying identity cards “to influence the participation rate”.
“We are talking about an operation on a grand scale,” said El-Houssein Ould Ahmed El-Hadi.
“It is not only illegal, but also morally wrong, because it prevents citizens from freely voicing their preference.”
The electoral commission is looking into the reports, he said.