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

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.