Politics, Africa

Mali sees low voter turnout in parliamentary election

Coronavirus fears, security incidents scare away voters

James Tasamba   | 30.03.2020
Mali sees low voter turnout in parliamentary election file photo

KIGALI, Rwanda

Fears over the novel coronavirus and threats by militant groups kept many voters in Mali away from polling stations during Sunday’s parliamentary election.

A group of observers from civil society associations said by midday, voter turnout at a number of stations they visited was only 7.5%.

Out of about 12,500 polling stations, 274 were unable to open, according to the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection.

In central Mali, which has particularly suffered attacks by extremists, voter turnout was very low as coronavirus fears and insecurity scared away voters, a polling official told local media.

In the Timbuktu area, the army secured polling centers, but an election official was reportedly kidnapped by armed men.

Several polling stations were attacked, equipment ransacked and election officials and candidates abducted in the north and center of the country, the news.abamako.com website reported.

In Bamako, at least six candidates were reportedly abducted by armed groups during the electoral process, it said, citing a report from the Observatory for Elections and Good Governance in Mali.

In the Boni area, armed men ransacked a polling station, while in Kidal, observers were prevented from accessing a station, it said.

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