Malians headed to the polls on Sunday for a long-delayed parliamentary election. Results are still being awaited across the country.
Authorities pushed ahead with the vote despite security challenges in parts of the country as well as recording eighteen confirmed cases of coronavirus.
The vote also took place with the leading opposition figure Soumaila Cisse kidnapped and believed to be in the hands of jihadists.
Despite all this, authorities remained reassuring. Sidiki Samaké, Governor of Gao told the press: “There are exceptional measures that will be taken, which consist of ensuring that voters are at least two metres apart from each other so that there are no crowds.
“And also the health services will be at the level of the different centres to check that there are no sick people or cases at the level of the centres in the region.”
Malians will elect lawmakers for the 147 seat National Assembly in two rounds, with the next election scheduled for April 19. However, the government admitted that not all Malians will be able to vote as some 200,000 people have been displaced by violence.