News / Africa

Mali's Election Campaign in Final Days

Mali's Election Campaign in Final Daysi
X
July 21, 2013 5:29 PM
This is the last week of campaigning ahead of Mali’s July 28th presidential election, with 27 presidential candidates crisscrossing the country to rally supporters. Authorities have handed out seven million voter cards in less than a month, and are frantically completing preparations for the ballot. VOA West Africa Correspondent Anne Look has more.

Mali's Election Campaign in Final Days

Anne Look
— This is the last week of campaigning ahead of Mali’s July 28 presidential election, with 27 presidential candidates crisscrossing the country to rally supporters. Authorities have handed out seven million voter cards in less than a month, and are frantically completing preparations for the ballot. 

This last week before the vote will be a busy one.

Mali is trying to emerge from a year and a half of unprecedented crisis. It started with another Tuareg rebellion, followed by a military coup, followed by an Islamist takeover, followed by a French-led military intervention.

Candidates are all campaigning on pretty much the same platform - making sure this never happens again. They are pledging to fight corruption, build a stronger army, and heal long-standing communal tensions once and for all.

The country’s largest political party has backed a relative unknown, Dramane Dembele.

"Malians must forgive each other today and shake hands for national reconciliation," said Dramane Dembele, ADEMA - PASJ's candidate.

Many Malians blame the crisis on those who governed over the past two decades.

Several of the top candidates, like Modibo Sidibe and Ibrahim Boubabar Keita, are former ministers and prime ministers and long-time fixtures on Mali’s political scene.

However many of the 27 candidates, like Dembele, are playing up their outsider status, something that appears to be resonating with voters.

"Dembele is not known because he has never been in the government and he has never wasted the country's resources. We have never heard of that from him,” said Sokona Sadjan Soumaré, Dembele supporter.

Voter turnout in Mali has been historically low - less than 40 percent. 

This time, there have been the usual big rallies. But candidates have also hit the road and taken to the air to go door to door, town to town, north to south, to mobilize voters.

Election officials are working against a fierce deadline.

Confusion remains about where and how to vote. As of Friday, more than two million voters had yet to pick up their biometric voter cards.

Voters like Gilbert Dembele said it wasn’t for lack of trying.

“This time it was easy, but I couldn’t get my card two weeks ago. There were too many people here the first and second day, so I had to leave,” said Dembele.

There are high hopes for this election, but it is not without risk. One candidate withdrew from the race, saying the country isn’t ready.

Pre-election violence has flared in the formerly rebel-held northern town of Kidal. Hasty preparations and flaws in the voter list could open the way for results there to be contested. 

(Nick Loomis contributed reporting from Bamako.)

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jean from: Mali
July 22, 2013 7:23 AM
It seems that Mali too has been recolonised and the future President has already been handpicked by the Colonial Master

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid