1961 Mauritanian presidential election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Seal of Mauritania (December 2018).svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Flag of Mauritania.svg Mauritania portal

Presidential elections were held for the first time in Mauritania in August 1961 to elect the President for the next five years. Moktar Ould Daddah, who had been acting head of state since independence from France in 1960 was the only candidate, and was elected unopposed. Although he was a member of the ruling Mauritanian Regroupment Party, his candidacy was also supported by the Mauritanian National Union.[1] Voter turnout was 93.6%.[2]

The elections were the last multi party elections held in the country until 1992 as a constitutional amendment in 1964 declared the nation a one-party state, and during 1965 all parties merged with the ruling Mauritanian Assembly Party to form the Mauritanian People's Party.


Mauritania came under the direct control of the French Colonial Empire during 1933.[3] On 28 November 1958, a constitutional amendment allowed the creation of a transitional Legislative Council, replacing the Territorial Assembly established during the French colonial regime. The country lacked experts to frame the constitution and accepted the suggestions of a group of French jurists on 22 March 1959 unanimously.[4]

After independence on 28 November 1960, the country declared itself the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, with Ould Daddah becoming the first President of the country.[3] During the transitional period, Daddah was successful in orienting different tribal and ethnic divisions in the country. He faced pressure on some of the provinces annexed by the neighboring Morocco under Sultan Mohamed V and sought support from Arab neighbors. He also maintained relations with French government and sought the help to station its troops in Mauritania which would go on until 1966.[5]


Moktar Ould Daddah, the winner of the 1961 Presidential elections
Candidate Party Votes %
Moktar Ould Daddah Mauritanian Regroupment Party 370,970 100
Invalid/blank votes 838
Total 371,808 100
Registered voters/turnout 397,588 93.5
Source: Nohlen et al.


  1. ^ "Elections in Mauritania". African Elections Database. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  2. ^ Nohlen, D; Krennerich, M; Thibaut, B (1999). Elections in Africa: A data handbook. p. 594. ISBN 0-19-829645-2.
  3. ^ a b Europa Publications (2003). A Political Chronology of Africa. Routledge. p. 285. ISBN 9781135356668.
  4. ^ Pazzanita, Anthony G. (2008). Historical Dictionary of Mauritania Volume 110 of Historical Dictionaries of Africa. Scarecrow Press. pp. 134–5. ISBN 9780810862654.
  5. ^ Shillington, Kevin, ed. (2013). Encyclopedia of African History 3-Volume Set. Routledge. p. 959. ISBN 9781135456702.

External links[edit]