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AU Monitor Says Mali Run-Off Vote Went Well

  • Peter Clottey

Poll workers count ballots in Bamako, Aug. 11, 2013.

Poll workers count ballots in Bamako, Aug. 11, 2013.

The head of the African Union election monitoring mission says he was impressed with the organization and transparency of Mali’s presidential run-off election.

Edem Kodjo says Malians showed in Sunday’s vote their readiness to rebuild the country after the coup d’état that enabled Islamic militants to seize some northern parts of the West African nation.

“The Malian people have demonstrated a sort of willingness to go ahead of this very serious crisis. They did their best and there was no violence, no particular difficulties in the organization of the elections, a good deal of transparency and I think things went well,” said Kodjo.

Kodjo, who is a former Togolese prime minister, expressed hope that the successful conduct of the election would help the country resolve its security and economic challenges.

“They wanted to have a leader who will help them to overcome the recent difficulties in the country. The Malians don’t want their country to be divided,” Kodjo said. “They understand that they have to try to arrange a situation in the northern part of the country with a good deal of [decentralization]. The second challenge is rebuilding the nation, rebuilding the economy and they want a new political system with maybe new parties.”

Kodjo says the African Union will work with its international partners to help the new Malian government rebuild state institutions as part of the West African country’s effort to entrench democracy.

“The international community is prepared to give them a hand to make sure that they achieve these purposes,” said Kodjo. “The AU is determined to help Mali to achieve [its] political goal, for instance, maintaining the territorial integrity of the country, including the necessary diversity.”

Mali's Ministry of Territorial Administration plans to announce full but provisional voting results on Wednesday. Former Malian Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and former finance minister Soumalia Cisse were the only two candidates who qualified to take part in the run-off voting after neither was able to get 50 percent of the total vote in the first round of the election.

Kodjo says the final winner will need to make new international allies.

“The new president should try to work with the international community for building a new system, a new relationship between Mali and the rest of the world,” said Kodjo.