Election officials in Mauritania have begun releasing a small portion of early results from legislative and municipal elections that were boycotted by much of the opposition.

Saturday's vote was the first time legislative polls were held since President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz took power in a coup in 2008. Opposition parties largely refused to participate because of concerns the vote would not be credible.

Mohamed Ould Mokhtar, professor of political science at the University of Nouakchott, said one consequence of the boycott is that the Islamist Tawassoul party could get seats in parliament for the first time.

The party, which promotes Shariah law, was banned until 2007.

The election commission says turnout was at 60 percent Saturday evening and that results were expected by the middle of this week.