On April 19, Mali held the second round of its legislative elections despite jihadist threats and the uncertainty linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After voting in the first round on March 29, the Mailenses returned to the polls a second time to renew the members of their Parliament elected in 2013. The legislative mandate, lasting five years, was due to end in 2018. However The elections have been delayed twice. In the second postponement, the Malian journalist Kané explained in a note from the Anadolu agency:
I explained to you the reports for the great magistrates -empty depuis plus de deux mois en contestation des conditions financières et de travail, who “a empêché l'acquisition par les candidates de certains documents nécessaires pour postuler aux législatives”.
Dans une déclaration publiée le 26 septembre dernier, l'opposition malienne avait sued le report des législatives, soutenant “qu'aucune élection régulière, transparent et démocratique ne peut être organisée sans la correction de grave insuffisances et la mise à plat du système de fraud organized, which marked the dernière élection présidentielle “.
The Government has explained these postponements due to the magistrates' strike, which began more than two months ago in response to their financial and working conditions, which “prevent candidates from obtaining some necessary documents to present themselves to the legislature”
In a statement published on September 26, the Malian opposition had called for the legislative (elections) to be delayed, alleging that “no normal, transparent and democratic election can be organized without the correction of serious shortcomings and the revision of the fraud system organized that marked the last presidential election. “
According to local observers, the elections were held observing the new public health measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of April 26, 370 cases of the disease had been registered, with 21 deaths.
On April 19, the day of the elections, at a press conference held to analyze the first results, Drissa Traoré, president of the Coalition for the Citizen Observation of Elections in Mali (COCEM), a platform of civil society organizations, declared :
The observers of the Cocem ont verified the renforcement of mesures préventives against the propagation of COVID-19 by the government that the mise à disposition du gel, gants et des masques pour les agents électoraux et des électeurs dans certaines localités, des unités de lavage des mains dans certains centers de vote. Cependant, des telles mesures auraient pu être effectsives dans tous les centers et bureaux de vote, tel that I recommended for the Cocem dans sa déclaration préliminaire du premier tour…
Et il ressort pour l’instant que 95% de bureaux de vote observés ont ouvert à l'heure (avant 8h15) et 5% des bureaux observés ont ouvert between 8h15 et 9h30.
COCEM observers have confirmed a strengthening of the preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19 by the Government, such as the supply of hydroalcoholic gel, gloves and masks for electoral agents and voters in some localities, or units for washing hands in some polling stations. However, such measures could have occurred in all electoral centers and offices, as recommended by COCEM in its preliminary declaration of the first round (…)
And it turns out that for the moment, 95% of the polling stations observed opened at the appointed time (before 8.15) and 5% between 8.15 and 9.30
With the publication of the results of these elections, Ibrahima Sangho, head of the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) and the Synergy of Civil Society Organizations, among others, gave a press conference on electoral development. An article took the main statement:
Selon la Synergie des organizations de la société civile et de la CNDH (Commission nationale des droits de l'homme), has a global participation rate of 23.22%. In outre, the mission a noted that 53.87% of voters are women.
According to the Synergy of Civil Society Organizations, and the CNDH (National Commission on Human Rights), the overall participation rate at the close was 23.22%. In addition, the Mission noted that 53.87% of the voters were women.
These civil society organizations would have deployed more than 1,200 observers in the 55 electoral constituencies.
However, the indices provided by Boubacar Alpha Bah, Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, are different:
Le 19 avril, très peu d'électeurs ont effectué le déplacement dans les centers de vote pour élire leurs députés: 2,363,827 voters sur les 6,691,305 inscrits, 2,311,920 suffrages valablement exprimés, soit un taux de participation de 35,33 %. Ces chiffres ont eté communiqués, hier, for the Minister of the Territorial Administration and the Decentralization, Boubacar Alpha Bah. The results are souls à la Cour constitutionnelle qui le dernier mot. If the institution validates the results compiled by the Minister of the Territorial Administration and the Decentralization, the National Assembly and the change of configuration.
On April 19, very few voters made the trip to the polling stations to choose their deputies: 2,363,827 voters out of the 6,691,305 registered, 2,311,920 valid votes, that is, a participation rate of 35.33% . These figures were communicated yesterday by the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, Boubacar Alpha Bah. The results will be sent to the Constitutional Court, which has the last word. If this institution validates the results obtained by the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, the National Assembly will hardly change its configuration.
The percentage provided by the ministry is closer to the participation rate in the 2013 legislative elections, which was 37.24%, and to that of the second round of the presidential elections held on August 12, 2018, which was 34, 54%.
As reported by journalist Abdoulaye Ouattara, the Constitutional Court has already validated the results of the first round, held on April 9, 2020:
Au terme de son audience, the Cour a déclaré 22 députés élus dès le premier tour dans 11 circonscriptions électorales. Les 125 autres sièges seront attributable à l’issue du second prévu pour le 19 avril 2020.
At the end of its hearing, the Court sanctioned 22 deputies elected in the first round in 11 electoral districts. The other 125 seats will be awarded in the second round, scheduled for April 19.
These elections were held under particular conditions, on the one hand, because there have been massacres of inhabitants of various towns, and of members of the Malian armed forces imposed by jihadist groups in vast areas of the country, and, on the other hand, due to the measures imposed by the Government to slow the progression of COVID-19.
K. Richard Kouassi, editor of the Afrique Sur 7 website, recalls the latest deadly attacks by jihadists, which have claimed a significant number of victims:
Le Mali connaît actuellement un moment douloureux. Et pour cause, le lundi 6 avril 2020, le pays a subi une attaque perpétrée par des djihadistes. Selon l'AFP (Agence France presse), le bilan fait état de vingt soldats tués par les assaillants…
Vingt et neuf soldats maliens avaient eté tués et cinq autres ont subi des blessures, avaient annoncé les Forces armées maliennes dans un communiqué. Cette attaque était la plus meurtrière qu'a connue le Mali en quatre mois.
Depuis près de dix ans, le pays est sous la menace de groupes armés qui endeuillent les populations et causent d'énormes pertes dans l'armée malienne.
Mali is currently in a painful moment. And rightly so, on Monday, April 6, 2020, the country suffered an attack by the jihadists. According to the France Presse agency, the balance was 20 soldiers killed by the assailants (…).
The armed forces announced in a statement that 29 soldiers had died and five more had been wounded. This attack was the one that has caused the most victims in Mali in the last four months.
For about ten years, the country has been under threat from armed groups that cause tremendous pain to the population and enormous losses to the Malian Army.
Citing a source Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED Data Project on Places and Events of Armed Conflicts), the independent website mali.net reported:
Détérioration de la situation sécuritaire dans le nord et le center du Pays: Plus de 1000 morts dont plus de 300 civils depuis janvier 2020
The revelation a et faite par ACLED (Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project), unites organization non gouvernementale spécialisée dans la collecte, l'analyse et la cartographie des données de conflit. Selon cette organization, malgré la propagation du COVID-19, l’intensité des violences armées au Mali n’a pas baissé d’un cran. Parmi les victimes qui en paient le plus lourd tribut figurent les civils, essentiellement dans les régions dites du Center.
Deterioration of security in the north and center of the country: More than a thousand deaths – of which 300 civilians – since January 2020.
This information was revealed by ACLED, an NGO specialized in collecting, analyzing and mapping data on conflicts. According to this organization, despite the spread of COVID-19, the intensity of armed violence in Mali has not decreased at all. The victims who have paid the highest price include civilians, especially in the so-called Central regions.