After decades of a de facto one-party state, Mauritanians are campaigning loud and clear ahead of Sunday's multi-party legislative and municipal elections.
More than 1m voters must chose between at least 25 parties and numerous independent candidates representing Islamist, nationalist and leftist political currents.
The country is taking its first tentative steps towards democracy after the bloodless coup last year removed former President Maaouiya Ould Taya.
A new constitution has been introduced which limits presidential terms and for the first time a minimum of 20% of those elected will be women.
Traditional nomad-style tents have sprung up as campaign rallying points all over the dusty capital city of Nouakchott.
Mauritania is one of the poorest countries in the world, but the recent discovery of offshore oil reserves holds out the promise of increased economic prosperity.
European Union observers say the elections have been well organised, but are concerned that voters - many of whom are illiterate - do not understand the new voting system.
There is also concern that there is no record of how much politicians are spending on their campaigns, and where funding comes from.
Despite the challenges, many Mauritanians are hopeful for the future, after seeing an improvement in their daily lives since the previous regime was toppled.