ECOWAS commends 'orderly voting' in Mali

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - The Head of ECOWAS Election Observation Mission (EOM), Prof. Amos Sawyer, has commended Malians for their orderly conduct during Sunday's election to fill the country’s 147-seat parliament.

“The electoral process today (Sunday) has been orderly, security and the general atmosphere is fine and the preparation has been very good,” an ECOWAS Commission statement quoted Prof. Sawyer as saying after observing the elections in several voting centres in the Bamako municipalities.

He also commended the ''noticeable improvement'' in the delivery of poll materials and expressed the hope that the process would gather momentum for successful poll after a slow start.

The Hamallaye Marchie Polling centre, with 59 polling stations in Bamako’s Community IV, was his first port of call, where the polling Coordinator Souleymane Kanoute informed the head of the regional observer mission that the voter turn-out was expected to improve after a handful of voters had cast their ballots by 8.30 AM, thirty minutes after the official opening of the process.

The polling official also observed that although the legislative poll is closer to the people, the general expectation is that the turn-out would not be as high as in the recent presidential election in the country of 16.5 million, which has 6.5 million registered voters.

A similar slow start to the process was noted at the Groupe Scolaire Aminata Diop, also in Bamako Community IV, as well as Mairie Centrale de Bamako polling centre in Community III, and Lycee Sacre Coer ACI in Community V.

Of the 446 registered voters at polling station 003 in Community III, some 40 people had cast their ballots by 12.09 PM, while in polling station 009, 50 of the 472 registered voters had voted by 12.30 PM.

Members of the 100-strong ECOWAS Observation Mission have been deployed across Mali’s eight regions including Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu in the north, as well as the six Bamako Communities.

Some 1,141 candidates from the ruling party, opposition coalitions and independents are vying for the National Assembly seats.

The ECOWAS observation mission is expected to issue its Preliminary Report on the elections on Monday.

The legislative election is the last stage of the political transition process facilitated by ECOWAS to restore constitutional order and the country’s territorial integrity after its 10-month political and security crises.
-0- PANA SEG 25Nov2013

25 november 2013 11:24:50

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