Mali: Low voter turnout and protests


Millions of Malians cast their ballots on 20 November 2016 to elect some 12 000 councillors across in the long-delayed municipal elections, which have been pushed back four times over the last two years. Only 640 of Mali’s 703 communes were able to hold elections, and they were marked by low voter turnout, protests and some incidents of violence. An attack on a Malian army convoy near Douentza, which was transporting ballot boxes, killed five soldiers. Due to the fragile security situation, some northern districts decided, ahead of the elections, to not to participate. In the Mopti area, for example, only six of the 15 municipalities were able to participate in the elections. No voting took place in Kidal and the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) announced in a communiqué on 21 November that it does not recognize the results, which they consider to be a violation of the peace agreement. The spokesperson for the European Union External Action Service declared that the local elections constitute, “an important step in the normalisation of the situation within the country.” It is still unclear whether or not this contested election will be a step forward in the peace process.

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