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Mauritania to hold presidential elections on June 21

Mauritania has announced that its next presidential election will be held in June.

President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has not yet announced his candidacy, but his party has asked him to run again. The party, the Union of the Republic, secured a majority of seats in last year's parliamentary elections, which were boycotted by much of the opposition.

Aziz came to power in a 2008 coup, ousting the country's first democratically elected leader. He won presidential elections the following year and has since become a key ally of the West in the fight against terrorism in the Sahara.

In a statement published overnight, the president's office said elections will be held June 21 and, if needed, a second round will take place July 5.