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Low voter turn out in Mali's legislative polls

Mali

Officials in Mali said Thursday that voter turnout for the country;‘s legislative elections was just 36 percent.

Mali’s territorial administration minister, Boubacar Alpha Bah said many chose to stay away from the ballot box due to threats of violence and COVID-19 pandemic.

“A total of 797 out of 22,147 polling stations could not open, accounting for 2,800,508 voters or 3% of the electorate. Votes cast was 2,627,320, turnout 35.73%, total number of lists 547, total number of candidates 1,417 of whom 430 were women, giving a participation rate of 30% for women and 70% for men”, Alpha Bah said.

A total of 797 out of 22,147 polling stations could not open, accounting for 2,800,508 voters or 3% of the electorate.

On Sunday, Malians went to the polls to elect new lawmakers in an election that has been long delayed over security concerns.

Releasing the provisional results Thursday, Alpha Bah said of the 7.6 million registered voters, 35.73 percent cast their votes.

Polling day was marked by several violent incidents in the volatile north and centre, including the kidnap of officials.

Last week’s election followed the kidnap of leading opposition figure Soumaila Cissé, a first in Mali for a politician of his stature.

But analysts said the election to the 147-seat parliament was critical to implementing reforms that could lead the former French colony out of its cycle of violence.

Provisional results indicate Cissé was elected in the first round, but also show a second round of voting will be needed in some districts where no candidate won a majority.

Preliminary results show many candidates who support President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta will likely face a second round of voting on April 19, according to an AFP tally.

AFP

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