[QODLink]
Africa

Mali sets date for presidential election

Government says first poll in war-torn country since 2012 coup will be held on July 28.

Last Modified: 28 May 2013 19:23
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Mali's acting President, Dioncounda Traore, has said he will not stand in July's elections [EPA]

Mali will hold a presidential election on July 28, according to a draft law adopted by the cabinet as the nation struggles to move on from war and an 18-month political crisis.

Mali's government announced the elections on Monday in a communique that set out the dates for the campaign and runoff elections.

The announcement suggests that the West African country is serious about holding the ballot, despite the fact that the capital of one of the country's northern provinces remains under the control of an anti-government group.

"The campaign will open on Sunday, July 7 at midnight and close at midnight  on July 26," the draft law read.

Acting President Dioncounda Traore has said that neither he nor his ministers will stand in the polls, which will go to a second round on August 11 if required.

The ballot would be the first since a coup in March 2012 that ousted Mali's democratically elected president just months before he was due to step down at the end of his final term in office. 

The coup created an opening that allowed groups allied with al-Qaeda to seize northern Mali.

'Guarded welcome'

France, which sent more than 4,000 troops to Mali in January to try to free the north and plans to reduce that number to 1,000 before the end of 2013, has been pushing for a quick election in the hopes of restoring the country's constitutional rule. 

Al Jazeera's Mohamed Vall reports from Azawad, where Tuareg nomads accuse army of atrocities

It is looking to hand over security to the Malian government and to a soon-to-be created United Nations peacekeeping force, which will number about 6,300.

French Mali envoy and former Foreign Minister Tiebile Drame, speaking in Burkina Faso, confirmed the dates of the elections.

He said there were high hopes that "we can move quickly towards the signing of an interim accord permitting the holding of the presidential election throughout the whole national territory of Mali".

He was attending talks with Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore, the regional mediator in the Mali crisis.

One of the Mali rebel delegates, also in the Burkina capital Ouagadougou for talks on the crisis, gave a guarded welcome to news of the election date.

Hamada Ag Bibi, head of the High Council for the unity of Azawad (HCUA) said his group would "not oppose" the holding of the poll which could usher in "a legitimate power", a president who could then hold negotiations on the future of Azawad.

450

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.