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Second Round in Mali: Despite a Decrease in Violence, Voters Have Shunned the Polls

On August 12, Malians were called to the polls to decide the two candidates present in the second round of the presidential election. Voting marked by low participation and new violence in several parts of the country.

It seems that the election fever did not win all Malians in the second round of the Malian presidential election held on August 12. They were called to decide the outgoing president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, of his rival Soumaïla Cissé, ex-Malian Minister of Finance. 

According to the Citizen Observation Pool of Mali (POCIM), which mobilized more than 2,000 observers in the second round of voting, the participation rate for 1,571 polling stations was estimated at 22.38% at the time of their closure. . In the first round, 42.7% of voters went to the polls.

The head of a polling station assassinated

While the local media agree that the second round was quieter than the first, violence has been reported in several localities in the center and north of the country . In the south-west of Timbuktu, in the village of Arkordia, for example, the president of a polling station supervising the holding of the second round of the presidential election was shot dead by gunmen, according to local sources. mentioned by AFP. 

Tense situation also in the north of Mali, in the village of Kiname. Gunmen broke into a polling station and took the election materials before setting them on fire.

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For now, the Malian government has not yet provided an official figure for the number of people who could not vote. In the first round, the Ministry of Territorial Administration estimated the number at 245,888 because of violence, mainly in the central regions of the country.

Malfunctions and irregularities found

Although a relative improvement in the security climate has been observed, the second round of voting has experienced some organizational problems. At a press point following the vote, Cécile Kyenge, the head of the European Union’s observation mission, reported that among the 300 polling stations observed by 80 European observers in the country, ” the lists of electors were not displayed.

Moreover, the opposition, which had disputed the results of the first round of July 29, has once again accused the power to organize fraud operations. A few hours before the second round, Tiébilé Dramé, director of the Soumaïla Cissé campaign, said at a press point to be in possession of “notebooks with ballot strains” mentioning the name of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, the outgoing president. “How many notebooks with bullet holes are circulating around the country?” He asked. 

In the first round, “IBK”, given as a favorite, had won 41.70% of the vote, against 17.78% for the former Minister of Finance. If the final results of the presidential election will not be known before four or five days, Soumaïla Cissé has already announced August 13 that he would dispute the results. He called on all Malians to stand up to mark their opposition to “the dictatorship of fraud”.

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Written by How Africa

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