Malians vote in parliamentary election

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - Malians are voting on Sunday to elect members of the 147-seat National Assembly from the more than 1,100 contending candidates, in an election that is seen as crucial to the success of the country's return to the path of peace and stability after a long-drawn political crisis.

The election is a follow-up to the successful July/August presidential polls in the West African country, which was thrown into turmoil following a military coup in March last year and a rebellion in the north of the country.

Just like during the presidential election, the regional bloc ECOWAS is monitoring Sunday's polls, having dispatched some 100 observers to the country, where more than 6.5 million people have registered to vote, out of a population of 16.5 million.

The ECOWAS observers have been deployed to the country’s eight regions and the municipalities of Bamako, the nation’s capital.

The regional observers are being led by former President of Liberia’s Interim Government of National Unity Amos Sawyer, and comprises election experts from National Election Commissions of member states, ECOWAS Ambassadors and Council of the Wise, as well as representatives of civil society organisations, among others.

Ahead of Sunday's elections, Prof. Sawyer appealed for peaceful parliamentary polls to consolidate the progress made towards the restoration of constitutional order and the country’s territorial integrity.

He said 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.

PANA reports that in recognition of the ECOWAS role, the country's Prime Minister Oumar Tatam Ly has expressed profound gratitude to the regional bloc for its solidarity and contributions that facilitated the resolution of Malian crises and restoration of national unity and constitutional order.

The Premier spoke when he met Prof. Sawyer on Friday in the Malian capital, Bamako.

He noted that ECOWAS support had encouraged Mali to build on the momentum of its recent successful presidential polls by taking on the challenges of organising the parliamentary elections in the aftermath of the country’s political and security crises.

According to the Prime Minister, the presence of the regional observers will not only boost the credibility of the elections, but also reassure the local population and the international community on the prevailing peace and security in Mali.
-0- PANA SEG 24Nov2013

24 november 2013 11:59:44

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