Mauritanian opposition figure held

Police in the West African country of Mauritania have arrested another opposition figure in what his lawyer described as a government crackdown after this month's disputed election.

    The three main opposition leaders jointly rejected results

    Incumbent President Muawiya Wald Sidi Ahmad Taya was declared winner of the 7 November ballot with two-thirds of the vote. The opposition said massive fraud and intimidation rendered the election invalid.

    On Sunday police arrested Shaikh Wald Horma, deputy campaign director for the leading opposition candidate, Muhammad Khuna Wald Hidala who was himself arrested hours after the election result was declared.

    "It's an attempt to discourage anybody from becoming involved in politics," Ibrahim Wald Ebetty, one of the lawyers defending the arrested opposition figures, said. "They want to eliminate Hidala's campaign team at any cost."

    Twelve arrests

    Lawyers said Horma was the latest of at least 12 opposition figures to be taken into custody in the past month in Mauritania, a country stretching from the Sahara to the Atlantic where many hope offshore oil deposits will bring riches.

    Official results showed Hidala, who remains in detention, had won just under 19% of the vote in the country of 2.9 million people.

    Hidala was briefly detained before the vote on suspicion of plotting a coup in the country, where power has never changed hands through the ballot box since independence from France in 1960.

    Five months ago, renegade soldiers tried to depose Taya, but the uprising was crushed and the government clamped down on the opposition.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Meet the hardline group willing to do anything, including going against their government, to claim land for Israel.