The Ould Daddah and Boulkheir campaigns are now best described as “in shock”: the numbers coming out since the polls closed are showing massive majorities for General Ould Abdel Aziz. In Nouadhibou, sixty-five precincts are showing the same results in favor of Ould Abdel Aziz. The question: how? The answer: fraud. Their reactions now will determine what is possible tomorrow and in the days afterward.
Possible outcomes, at this stage: (1) Ould Abdel Aziz wins in the first round, slightly but decisively; (2) a second round contest between Ould Abdel Aziz and Boulkheir, where Ould Abdel Aziz wins by a large and decisive victory, in excess of 15 or 20 percent; (3) repeat the second, with Ould Daddah or another candidate. In any case, all three scenarios are possible only by means of fraud and will continue, if not broaden, concerns surrounding Ould Abdel Aziz’s legitimacy.
Perhaps the ultimate evidence of potential fraud: sources in Nouakchott are saying that the results are being released by the Secretary General of the Interior Ministry, not the Interior Minister; the Interior Minister is “missing,” and believed to have been arrested on undisclosed (or non-existent) charges. All of this is pending confirmation, however.
General Ould Abdel Aziz has lead Mauritania in three substantial campaigns: The Good Coup (2005), the Rejected Coup (2008) and, now, the Constitutional Coup (2009).