Round two for legislative elections has started
Mali’s voters will return to the polls today in a second round of voting for their 147 seat National Assembly. In the first round on 24th November just 16 seats were decided; the Rally for Mali (RPM) took 8 seats, the Union for the Republic and Democracy (URD) took 6 seats and the Alliance for Democracy in Mali (ADEMA) took 2 seats.
Around 6.5 million voters go to the polls today in what will be the fourth time they have voted in six months. The first two elections were for a new president; on 28th July and 11th August. Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of the Rally for Mali (RPM) won in the second round with 77.61% of the vote.
In the first round of the legislative elections there were 1,141 candidates standing and the turnout was low, just 38.6%, down from the 45.78% of the presidential election. This may be explained by poor campaigns by most of the parties, a feeling by the voters that the legislative elections matter less than the presidential election and a rise in violence in the north of the country once more. Yesterday two peacekeepers from the UN peacekeeping force known as MINUSMA were killed in the northern town of Kidal.
Voting commences at 8 a.m. local time.