ECOWAS observer mission head appeals for peaceful polls in Mali

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - Head of ECOWAS Election Observation Mission Amos Sawyer has appealed for peaceful parliamentary polls in Mali on Sunday to consolidate the progress made towards the restoration of constitutional order and the country’s territorial integrity.

Prof. Sawyer, former President of Liberia's Interim Government of National Unity, who arrived in the Malian capital, Bamako, Thursday, urged Malian political parties, the electorate and other stakeholders to replicate the political maturity they demonstrated during the recent successful presidential elections in the country.

He told journalists that ECOWAS attached great importance to the parliamentary election in demonstration of its determination to accompany Mali along the process of ending its political transition, which was facilitated by the regional organisation following the country’s political and security crises.

“That is the reason we are here because what happens in Mali affects everyone in our region,” said Sawyer, who is leading 100 ECOWAS observers.

Prof. Sawyer, who was received by Ambassador Aboudou Toure Cheaka, ECOWAS Commission President’s Special Representative to Mali, urged Malians to turn out massively to elect members of the 147-seat National Assembly from the more than 1,100 contending candidates.

He disclosed that the regional observers would be deployed to all the country’s eight regions, with the UN Mission, MINUSMA offering to assist with the airlift of observers to the northern regions of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu.

Later at a briefing for the observers, Prof. Sawyer urged them to maintain neutrality, and demonstrate a high sense of professionalism with strict adherence to regional guidelines and regulations governing poll observation.

Meanwhile, ahead of Sunday’s poll, Prof. Sawyer is expected to meet with heads of other observation missions and Malian political stakeholders including the General Delegate to the Election and the National Electoral Commission as well as MINUSMA officials.

On Election Day, he is expected to visit some of the 20,000 polling centres to observe the electoral process as more than 6.5 million registered voters from Mali’s estimated 16.5 million population cast their ballots.

The country’s electoral code provides for a second round of voting to be decided by a majority vote in a situation where no independent candidate or list of coalition candidates scored the mandatory 50% plus one vote in the first round.
-0- PANA SEG 22Nov2013

22 november 2013 12:26:47




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