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Mali - May 2020 Parliament Election

Mali adopted a law to extend the mandate of the National Assembly until May 2020, the government said in a statement following an extraordinary cabinet meeting 08 June 2019. This allowed the government to secure “optimal conditions” for well-organised legislative elections, according to the statement, which said a transparent vote wasn’t presently possible due to the “political and security situation.” Legislative elections were initially scheduled for 28 October 2018 and then delayed several times. The current mandate of parliament ended on 30 June 2019.

In June 2019 Malians were to have gone to the polls to vote in delayed parliamentary elections: voting was originally slated for 28 October 2018, then delayed until November 25, the parliamentary elections in Mali were postponed until April 2019. This is the consequence of the prorogation of the mandate of the deputies. The Constitutional Court extended the mandate of the deputies on 15 October 2018. The mandate of the deputies, which was to end on December 31, was extended by six months, until the end of June 2019. The official reason invoked, a case of force majeure. But within the national public opinion, this new report was criticized.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of the Rally for Mali (RPM) party won 66 of 147 seats in previous legislative elections in 2013. With the help of allied parties such as Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga of the Alliance for Solidarity, Convergence of Patriotic Forces (ASMA-CFP) party, the presidential coalition controlled 115 seats, of a total 147 seats in the legislature, Maïga serving as prime minister.

The legislative elections were to take place initially on October 28 for the first round and November 18 for the second, exactly three months after the presidential election that saw the victory of the incumbent head of state, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, who was was re-elected with 67.16% of the vote. The parliamentary elections in Mali were postponed for a month, to take place on November 25 and December 16, it was announced 13 September 2018, with the government explaining the postponement by a strike magistrates who prevented the filing of applications in time.

In Mali, there is a problem of governance in general, and so there is need to do a kind of refoundation of governance, a kind of re-reading of the security governance that place in the center human security and not only military security. The local leaders who still have legitimacy with the populations.

The 2013 elections were the first to be held after the March 2012 coup. A military group called the National Committee for the Return of Democracy and the Restoration of the State (CNRDRE), led by Captain Amadou Sanogo, staged the coup, accusing the government of failing to quell a Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country. The CNRDRE suspended the 1992 Constitution and dissolved the institutions of the Republic.

President Ibrahim Bubacar Keita's Rally for Mali (RPM) became the largest parliamentary force, taking 66 seats in the 147-member National Assembly. Overall, parties supporting the president won a total of 115 seats. They include the Alliance for Democracy in Mali (ADEMA) of former Speaker and interim President Dioncounda Traoré, which took 16 seats. The Union for the Republic and Democracy (URD), led by Mr. Soumaila Cissé - Mr. Keita's rival in the 2013 presidential elections - became the second largest force, taking 17 seats. The RPM and its allies promised to rebuild the country's economy and ease ethnic tensions in the North. The UPD promised to work for the underprivileged and to extend the concept of a "Greater Mali" (Maliba).

The crisis started in 2012, it was circumscribed in the northern regions and finally the center, the north, the western Sahel, all of Mali was affected in a certain way. From the point of view of the populations, the military response is certainly important, but it is insufficient and as it is being implemented, moreover, it creates more frustrations with often lots of abuses. The public believes that there can be no security without justice. They know who are the people who are affected by this violence, what are the typologies of the groups and who are the actors.

The six-month postponement requested by the National Assembly will help calm the tense political climate, in order to better organize these elections. In addition, the government will have more time to implement the institutional reforms provided for in the peace agreement signed in 2015 in Algiers.

The two candidates who came at the head of the last presidential election (Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Soumaïla Cissé) were in the process of negotiating, so they were just saving time. The reason to postpone these elections was the same reasons Mali could not hold this presidential election - the conditions of insecurity that prevailed in Mali.

The mandate of the members of the current legislature was to end on 31 December 2018. The prorogation of the mandate of the deputies is not the privilege of Mali. This is also the case in many countries, such as Chad, where the mandate of MPs has been extended several times.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) presented in Bamako on 31 January 2019 its White Paper for Security, developed in cooperation with its local partner, the National Civil Society Coalition for the Fight Against the Proliferation of Small Arms. This book, submitted to the Malian authorities, is the culmination of a study conducted over several years among the Malian population to convey its wishes and recommendations in matters of security.

Malians face many problems in their daily lives, hence a first recommendation of the White Paper to the government: we must abandon the purely Bamako reading of Mali and better take into account the organizations of civil society in the search for solutions. In the North, it is first of all the void left by the central authorities on the basic services side that other actors are trying to "substitute for the state". However, 80% of those questioned want the public services to be financed by the state, particularly in the health and education sectors.

In the center of the country, the inhabitants of the rural areas demand a security of harvests and the transhumance, the installation of wells and a better information against the "fake news". These are all measures that could reduce tensions between communities and would be more in line with their real needs than, for example, the banning of two-wheelers in Mopti which hinders many inhabitants.

On 12 February 2019, more than 60,000 people gathered in the big stadium of Bamako at the call of the High Islamic Council of Mali. Its president, Mahmoud Dicko, called for the resignation of the government and its prime minister. To obtain the departure of Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga of the Primature, the president of the High Islamic Council of Mali, Mahmoud Dicko, has chosen another man of size: the very influential religious leader of Nioro, Cherif Bouyé. The clerics accuse the prime minister of being responsible for the deterioration of the security situation in the center of the country where intercommunal violence has turned to massacres of civilians. The president of the High Islamic Council of Mali said he did not appreciate that Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga said that his government was not responsible and does not blame anything.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta renewed his confidence in his prime minister. "He's doing his job, he's doing it right, and when he came in, he was facing tremendous challenges that he was able to handle, and I have the advantage, in my position today, of being But the prime minister and his party are members of the presidential majority, the boss of the presidential majority, " the president of Mali told reporters.

In April 2019, thousands of people demonstrated in Bamako, protesting the government's handling of the violence. Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga submitted his resignation, and Boubou Cisse, a former finance minister, was then named prime minister.

In a first for the southern African nation, Malawi's Constitutional Court annulled the results of the 2019 presidential election in a decision announced 03 February 2020. Judge Healey Potani said "in every election there are irregularities. However, in the present case, the irregularities were widespread and systematic and affected the result... We order the nullification of the election.... We further order that a fresh election be held in accordance with the law and pursuant to directions we will make soon. We also order that elections should be held within 150 days." [ie, by June 2020]

President Peter Mutharika was narrowly reelected in the May 2019 election after securing 38% of the vote. Runner-up Lazarus Chakwera secured 35% of the vote while former vice president Saulos Chilima came in third with 20%. The two opposition candidates challenged the result, alleging that the tally sheets were tampered with and that some polling stations used correction fluid to alter the results.

With coronavirus cases on the rise, the government declared a medical emergency in the country. But people still headed to the polls on Sunday 29 March 2020 to vote for a new parliament. The last parliamentary election took place in 2013. Elections that should have been held in 2018 were consistently delayed.

"These parliamentary elections resulted from the decision of the National Dialogue, which set deadlines," President Keita said. The National Dialogue of December 2019 was considered an important step in reestablishing government control over the country after Islamists took control of northern Mali. The nation has been thrown into crisis, as various terror groups remain active. Central Mali in particular has become a battleground between villages and their self-defense militias.

Mali is battling more than just a security crisis. The population generally doesn't trust the state. Trust in authorities has long been missing from the region. Even if the violence were elsewhere, trust was rather symbolic and often called into question. Despite its presence, the state has not managed to deliver the people's needs.

There was generally little interest in the election overall. In the capital and surroundings some candidates are campaigning with big placards. But potential voters had more serious concerns. What is on people's minds this election: people are trying to survive. Putting food on the table is their main worry.

General disillusionment with the political system was also high. Opinion polls from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation showed over 50% of Malians were unhappy with the president's performance, 62% were unhappy with the government's efforts and 72% were unhappy with the parliament's work,

Voters in Mali went to the polls 29 March 2020 to elect members of the 147-seat National Assembly. The parliamentary election in the war-torn West African country, which should have taken place after President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s 2018 reelection, has been postponed several times since then out of security concerns. New members of the assembly were expected to emerge for the first time since 2013, when Rally for Mali, Keita’s party, gained a substantial majority. Some 200,000 people displaced by the ongoing violence in northern and central Mali will not be able to vote, because "no mechanism has been established" to facilitate their participation, a government official said.

The constitutional court overturned the provisional results for about 30 seats, a move that saw several members of Keita's party elected and is widely viewed as having ignited the latest crisis.

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Page last modified: 06-09-2021 11:51:00 ZULU