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Mali: What is at stake in the second round of legislative elections?

RFI (France)

This Sunday, 19 April, Malian voters are once again called to the polls to renew their Assembly

This Sunday, 19 April, Malian voters are once again called to the polls to renew their Assembly. The second round of legislative elections is being held in a special atmosphere, in the midst of a global coronavirus pandemic and as the security crisis continues in the north and centre of the country. There are still 125 deputies to be elected this Sunday.

Out of 147 deputies, 22 were elected in the first round. Among them is Soumaïla Cissé in her constituency in Niafunké, despite her absence, as the opposition leader was kidnapped by a jihadist group on 25 March.

Of the 12 constituencies where MPs have already been elected, 8 are in the north of the country. In Kidal, the RPM lists, the presidential party, prevail. In the three constituencies of Tessalit, Tin-Essako and Abeibara, the candidates' scores exceed 87%. This Sunday, more than 3/4 of the deputies are still to be elected. In Bamako, in particular, where the RPM and its allies came first in 4 communes out of 6.

Despite the jihadist attacks of some polling stations in the first round or the pandemic of Covid-19, "there was a consensus during the consultation framework for the organization of a second round," explains Yaya Sangaré, the Minister of Communication. Some opposition political parties such as the URD and the LDC claim not to have been invited to this meeting.

The Malian opposition is dreaming of the big night with the aim of forcing President Ibrahim Boubacar Kéita to cohabit. But in reality, taken individually, no Malian political party has the means to largely dominate the others.

Moreover, in many electoral districts, there are opposition and majority candidates on the same list. Together, they intend to win seats and, in the end, everyone will return to their camp. It is therefore at the end of the results that the political blocs will be formed. And the page of a National Assembly that was due to be renewed in 2018 will finally be turned.

Originally published in French.

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