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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid