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Mauritanian president easily wins re-election, with major opposition parties boycotting

The Mauritanian electoral commission says that the president has easily won re-election in a vote that the major opposition parties boycotted.

The commission announced Sunday night that President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz won with nearly 82 percent of the vote. The next closest candidate took only about 8 percent.

A group of the West African country's major opposition parties refused to participate in Saturday's election, calling it a sham, and Aziz had been expected to win. The boycott appeared to dampen turnout, which, at 56 percent, was lower than in the last presidential vote.

Aziz, who assumed power in a coup in 2008 and won elections a year later, has been a staunch ally of the West in facing the growing terror threat in West Africa.