News / Africa

    Malian President's Party Wins Legislative Elections

    Women prepare to cast their ballots at a polling station in Bamako during the second round of parliamentary elections, Dec. 15, 2013.
    Women prepare to cast their ballots at a polling station in Bamako during the second round of parliamentary elections, Dec. 15, 2013.
    Reuters
    The party of Mali's president and its political allies have won a comfortable majority in a parliamentary election intended to seal a return to democratic civilian rule following an army  coup in March 2012.

    Completion of the vote should unlock $3.25 billion pledged by donors to rebuild Mali and develop the lawless desert north, where Islamists seized control in the aftermath of the coup.

    France intervened militarily in January to drive the al-Qaida-linked fighters from northern towns, clearing the way for a presidential election won by Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

    In preliminary results for the parliamentary vote, Keita's RPM party finished first after the second of two legs, securing 61 of a total of 147 seats in parliament, according to his chief of staff, Mahamadou Camara.

    Adema, the RPM's principal ally, finished second with 20 seats, according to Abdoulaye Maiga, a member of the party's leadership, while smaller parties backing Keita also won seats.

    The URD - the party of Soumaila Cisse, who lost the presidential runoff to Keita and is now positioning himself as the leading opposition figure - claimed 18 of a total of 24 seats for opposition parties, a party spokesman said.

    Results by constituency were announced on state television by Minister of Territorial Administration Moussa Sinko Coulibaly but still need to be ratified by Mali's constitutional court.

    While the Nov. 15 second round of voting saw none of the abuses, including ballot box theft, that marred the earlier first round, turnout was low.

    Coulibaly said just over 37 percent of Mali's 6.8 million registered voters participated in the polls, down from 38.5 percent in the first round. The first round of the presidential election in July saw record turnout of 49 percent.

    Talks in trouble?

    While France's military operation pushed the Islamists out of cities and towns, isolated cells have remained active and Mali has suffered a surge in Islamist violence since Keita was elected in an August runoff.

    The intervention also allowed Tuareg separatist rebels, who were initially allied with the Islamists before being sidelined by them, to remain armed in the northern region of Kidal.

    The presidential and legislative elections were only able to go forward after Mali's post-coup transitional authority signed a ceasefire agreement with the Tuaregs promising negotiations on the future status of Kidal.

    Progress towards talks has been slow however. And peace hopes suffered a blow last month after some rebels said they were ending the five-month-old ceasefire over clashes between government troops and protesters in Kidal.

    Though some Tuareg leaders later denounced the declaration, relations with the central government are increasingly tense. Speaking at the inauguration of a hydroelectric project, Keita said on Tuesday he would not negotiate with armed groups.

    “Those who want peace will negotiate with the Malian government without weapons. No rebel can raise himself up to my level to discuss as equals,” he said. “Nowhere is that permitted and it will not be permitted by the government.”

    France has 2,800 troops stationed in Mali but aims to reduce its military presence to 1,000 by February as it hands security responsibilities to the Malian army and the U.N. force. The U.N. mission, launched in July, is still at roughly half its 12,600-man planned strength.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora