News / Africa

    Vote Counting Under Way in Mali Presidential Runoff

    A Malian poll worker counts ballots in Bamako Aug. 11, 2013.
    A Malian poll worker counts ballots in Bamako Aug. 11, 2013.
    Anne Look
    Vote counting is underway in Mali following Sunday's presidential run-off election, meant to be a turning point from more than 18 months of conflict and political crisis.

    Election agents in polling stations around Bamako counted ballots as night fell Sunday.

    Dozens of young men waited anxiously outside their polling station at the Nelson Mandela school in Commune 2 to be the first to hear the results.

    One of them, Yacouba Konate, said "we need to be the eyes and ears of our candidate. Mali needs change. This country belongs to us, the young people, and it was up to us to show it, to motivate people to come out and vote."

    Voting went off largely without incident around the country.

    The sun came out in Bamako at mid-day after scattered morning rainfall.

    A citizen's observer mission said rains in the Bamako district, as well as in the Kayes and Koulikoro regions, could have affected turnout, which appeared slightly lower than the record 49 percent during the first round of voting on July 28.

    Polling officials in the capital said turnout appeared the same or a bit lower than the first round, due also to the recent Muslim holiday.

    Voters like Amadou Sanga said they came out because the election was too important to miss.

    He said "this election will decide what comes next, whether or not we can get out of what has been a major crisis. We can't make the same mistakes again. We are here to choose a leader who can get us out of this situation once and for all."

    A lot is riding on this election. It will unlock $4 billion in international aid already pledged to rebuild the country and it will mark an end to the political limbo that followed the March 2012 military coup.

    Mali is now host to a massive U.N. mission aimed at stabilizing the north, which was occupied by rebel and Islamist armed groups for nine months.

    Presidential candidate Soumaila Cisse is a technocrat from Timbuktu in the north. His campaign has focused on economic recovery. He faces candidate Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, a one-time prime minister and former National Assembly president from the south. He is known for his "say it like it is" demeanor and fierce nationalism.

    Keita appears to be the frontrunner. He led the first round with 39 percent of ballots and almost all of the other 26 first-round candidates are backing him in the run-off.

    Election authorities have until Friday to announce results from Sunday's run-off.

    French, Malian and U.N. troops provided security for Sunday's vote.

    A local journalist in the far northern rebel stronghold of Kidal told VOA that voter turnout as of mid-day appeared higher than the dismally low participation seen there during the first round.

    The election took place in Kidal under a temporary cease-fire deal signed in mid-June between Tuareg separatist group, the MNLA, and Mali's interim government. 

    Amadou Maiga contributed to this report from Bamako.

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

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

    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