Mali heads to the polls

President expected to win re-election in one of Africa's most stable democracies.

    Mali's system of consensus government means Toure has the backing of more than 30 parties [AFP]
    "We have not done everything but we have learned over the past five years what is possible," he said on the eve of the vote.
     
    "We can go much further. And if Malians so wish, we would like to do so."
     
    Popular figure

    Campaigning has generally been good-humoured and low-key, with battered minibuses doing the rounds and youths hanging off them chanting "ATT" or "IBK", the initials of Toure's main rival and the president of the national assembly, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

    Toure first seized power in a 1991 coup and won international acclaim for handing over to an elected president the following year.

    Dubbed "The Soldier of Malian Democracy" he then retired from the army and was elected head of state in 2002, maintaining a favourable reputation among donors and investors ever since.
     

    Mali is one of West Africa's
    more stable countries [AFP]


    Consensus

    Turnout in Malian elections has traditionally been low due to  high levels of illiteracy.

    Many voters in some rural areas also have to walk long distances to cast their ballots.

    Mali's unusual style of consensus government, under which Toure has the backing of more than 30 political parties, also means many voters feel the outcome is almost inevitable.

    But some opposition supporters hope a low turnout may work against the incumbent, forcing the elections to a second round if he fails to win more than 50 percent of the vote.

    "ATT has not resolved all the country's problems. There is still a lot of youth unemployment," Cheikh Oumar Kouyate, a 27-year-old, unemployed accountancy graduate, said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.