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election results expected today

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    Mauritania Election Results Expected Today
    VOA News
    08 Nov 2003, 00:45 UTC

    Mauritanians are awaiting the results of the presidential election amid opposition charges that the vote was marred by massive fraud.
    President Maaouiya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya, who is seeking a third six-year term, expressed confidence Friday he will win the election.

    The results of the vote are expected to be announced Saturday.

    After the polls opened Friday, the main opposition candidate Mohamed Ould Haidallah, said voters were intimidated and ballot boxes stuffed. Another opposition candidate, Ahmed Ould Daddah, said there were irregularities that compromised the legitimacy of the election.

    A government spokesman, Imam Cheikh, refuted the allegations.

    No official domestic or international observers were in Mauritania to monitor the election. Human rights organizations have accused the government of intimidating the opposition prior to the election. On Thursday, police detained the main opposition leader, Mohamed Ould Haidallah and several of his top aides for several hours on suspicion of planning a coup.

    President Taya came to power in 1984 after overthrowing Mr. Ould Haidallah - who, himself, had taken power in a coup four years earlier. In 1992, President Taya was elected in the nation's first multi-party vote. He was re-elected in 1997 for a six-year term.

    Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

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