Abuja - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is deploying 50 election observers to Mali for the country’s second round Parliamentary polls scheduled for Sunday.
This follows the inconclusive first-round balloting last month.
The body said from Abuja, Professor Amos Sawyer, former President of Liberia’s Interim Government of National Unity will lead the Observer Mission, supported by Ambassador Leopold Ouedraogo, a Member of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise.
Provisional results from the first-round elections which featured more than 1 140 candidates fielded by the ruling and opposition coalitions and independents, showed that the country’s three main political parties secured less than 20 seats out of the 147 available in the National Assembly. Turnout was put officially at 38.4 percent.
Mali’s electoral law provides for a run-off to be decided by a simple majority vote in a situation where no independent candidate or list of coalition candidates secured the mandatory 50 percent plus one vote in the first round.
In its Preliminary Declaration, the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission which observed the first round balloting across Mali’s eight regions and the Municipalities of the capital, Bamako, adjudged the conduct as credible and transparent.
The Mission nonetheless noted the low turnout, saying the shortcomings it observed, including the inadequate sensitization of voters and late display of Voters Lists at several polling stations “did not in any significant way, affect the conduct of the election in line with globally acceptable standards.”
Following the July/August successful Presidential elections, the deployment of the ECOWAS Observation Mission for the legislative polls, is in furtherance of efforts aimed at helping Mali conclude the ECOWAS-facilitated transitional road map for the restoration of full constitutional order and the country’s territorial integrity in the aftermath of last year’s military coup and separatist insurrection in the north.
- CAJ News