Mauritania’s electoral commission has announced that Mohamed Ahmed Ould Ghazouani, a close ally of outgoing President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, won Saturday’s presidential election with 52% of votes.
If his victory is confirmed, it’ll mark the country’s first transfer of power through the ballots since the military ousted the West Africa nation’s first civilian president in 1978.
This will be the first democratic transition of power since the West African country achieved independence in 1960. President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz seized power in a coup in 2008, but has agreed to step down and abide by a two-term limit of office.
After Mauritania achieved independence from France in 1960, the country’s first president held power for 18 years before being ousted in a military coup. More coups followed in 1984, 2005 and 2008.