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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid