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Mauritania president urges '100 percent' vote turnout

Mauritania President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on April 3, 2014, at the EU Headquarters in BrusselsMauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has responded defiantly to an opposition boycott of this month’s presidential election, calling for “100 percent” turnout in a vote he is widely expected to win. Abdel Aziz has urged “everyone to come out and vote” in the June 21 election, since campaigning began last week. Mauritania’s opposition National Forum for Democracy and Unity, a loose collection of lawmakers including Islamists and civil society activists, announced on Tuesday its intention to snub the vote. Mauritania, a mainly Muslim republic between the Atlantic Ocean and the Sahara Desert, is viewed as strategically important by the West in the fight against Al-Qaeda-linked groups within its own borders, in neighbouring Mali and across Africa’s Sahel region.

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