News / Africa

Mali Awaits Presidential Election Results

Malians stand in line to vote at a polling station set up in the Sabalibougoui school in Bamako during the presidential election in Mali on July 28, 2013.
Malians stand in line to vote at a polling station set up in the Sabalibougoui school in Bamako during the presidential election in Mali on July 28, 2013.
Anne Look
Malians are waiting on the government to announce provisional results from Sunday's presidential poll, as authorities salute what they say could mark a historic high voter turnout in the country. No major issues were raised during the vote. The election is seen as the first step toward getting Mali back on its feet after a disastrous 18-month political crisis and an Islamist takeover of the north. 
 
Malians voted Sunday in numbers that many think will set a new record in a country where voter turnout has never been more than 40 percent. 

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault praised the election as a great success that should give Mali "every chance" to become a democratic independent nation. France led a military intervention in Mali after a chaotic 18 months that saw a military coup and Islamist takeover of the north. 
 
Critics say the organization of the vote was rushed.  Some people had trouble finding where they should vote, and there were reports that some Malians outside the country were not able to vote.
 
Youssouf Sangare has worked in polling stations for the past five elections. For this election, he is the president of the largest voting center in Bamako, the Nyarkolo school.
 
"A lot of people came out," he said. "From open to close, people came and just kept coming. I have never seen anything like it in my lifetime." 
 
  • Men search for their names on a list of registered voters outside a polling station in Kidal, Mali, shortly after the opening of polls, July 28, 2013. 
  • Election workers count votes at a station that reported a high voter turnout in Kidal, Mali, July 28, 2013. 
  • A Malian woman with her voting card in her hand goes to cast her vote in Bamako, Mali, July 28, 2013. 
  • A man is patted down by a United Nations peacekeeper outside the main polling place in Kidal, Mali, July 28, 2013. 
  • Election workers count votes at a station that reported a high voter turnout in Kidal, Mali, July 28, 2013. 
  • A French soldier stands guard as election workers unload ballot boxes containing election materials at the main polling station in Kidal, Mali, July 28, 2013. 
  • People queue to vote during Mali's presidential election in Timbuktu, Mali, July 28, 2013.
  • Young man glues campaign posters for Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on top of a pair posters for rival Dramane Dembele, Gao, Mali, July 25, 2013.
  • Supporters of presidential candidate Cheick Modibo Diarra distribute campaign flyers from the back of a moped as they ride in a campaign caravan through the streets of Bamako, Mali, July 20, 2013.
As night fell and election officials counted ballots by lamplight, individual polling offices at the Nyarkolo center said they were counting turnouts as high as 65 percent. 
 
Even as voting began Sunday morning across town in Bamako's Commune 5, voter Amady Diallo said he knew this time would be different. 
 
 "This election is a special case," Diallo noted. "We had the war, the coup, the jihadists who invaded the country. We need a legitimate government to fix things. That is why Malians are coming out in mass to vote to get a legitimate president and get Mali out of this rut it is in."
 
It has been just seven months since French, Malian and regional troops liberated much of the north from al-Qaida-linked militants who seized control in the chaos that followed a new Tuareg rebellion in the north and a March 2012 military coup in the south. 
 
Voter turnout was reported to be enthusiastic in the formerly occupied town of Gao Sunday. However, farther north, in the Tuareg rebel stronghold of Kidal, the number of ballots cast by midday was in the single digits for polling offices counting hundreds of registered voters. 
 
Mali had just a few short months to organize this election, and there were issues, most notably with the voter list that had not been updated since 2009. However, officials say they were able to distribute 85 percent of the new biometric voter cards ahead of the vote. 
 
The day was not without glitches. Some voters had trouble finding where they should vote, and there were reports that some Malians outside the country were not able to vote.
 
A few of the 27 candidates expressed concern about fraud in the run-up to the poll. 
 
 "I trust in this election but authorities need to be vigilant to prevent people from cheating," voter Naba Keita said.
 
Mali's interim president Diouncounda Traore has urged candidates to "remain democrats to the end" and accept the results.
 
French, Malian and U.N. troops secured the vote nationwide. Security forces were on high alert in the formerly occupied northern towns that have been the target of jihadist attacks and suicide bombings since being liberated in January. No incidents were reported.
 

You May Like

In US, Still No Decision in Racially-charged Case

Missouri town, many Americans on edge over whether jurors will indict white police officer in August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid