Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Mali polls will go ahead

19 July 2013, 07:43

Abuja - West African leaders on Thursday insisted Mali's presidential election would be held on 28 July as scheduled despite doubts over whether the crisis-hit nation was ready to organise a vote.

The polls are seen as crucial to re-uniting the country which remains shaken after a March 2012 military coup and a sweeping offensive by Islamist rebels who captured the entire north before being flushed out with the help of French troops.

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara, current chair of the 15-nation West African bloc Ecowas, said "there are no doubts" the vote would be held on time..

The polls would take place "on the scheduled date," the Ivorian leader said at the close of an Ecowas summit in Nigeria's capital.

The summit's final communique applauded Malian authorities for "the preparations under way aimed at conducting a free, fair and transparent election."

On Wednesday a presidential challenger who was the chief negotiator in a ceasefire deal with rebels withdrew from the race and filed a court appeal to have the polls postponed.

"The conditions for a fair vote are not in place," Tiebile Drame told journalists in Mali's capital Bamako.

He specifically pointed to problems with a voter registry in the northern town of Kidal, which had been at the centre of the fighting.

Ouattara told AFP that "the elections will be held in Kidal like everywhere else in the country."

Life is not simple

Last month, the head of Mali's election commission said it would be "extremely difficult" to organise elections on 28 July.

"Nothing is simple in life but we must move forward," Ouattara told AFP.

"I believe the Malian political class, in its entirety, and Malians have the will to hold this election to turn the page," he said.

The March 2012 coup in Mali toppled president Amadou Toumani Toure and created an opening that allowed groups allied to al-Qaeda to seize the vast desert north.

France, which plans to start withdrawing most of the 4 500 troops it sent to Mali, has been pushing for a quick election in the hopes of restoring order.

The country has been led by a transitional government since the coup.

Mali's acting president Dioncounda Traore, who is not among the 28 candidates vying to be the next head of state, has also acknowledged that the election would not be perfect, "much less in a country in crisis".

Some 500 000 thousand people are still displaced after the conflict.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...