Mali: The Malian government Saturday dismissed the vote rigging claims made by the opposition
Posted by African Press International on April 30, 2007
Bamako (Mali) The Malian government Saturday dismissed the vote rigging claims made by the opposition, arguing that it had involved the latter in all the stages of the electoral process leading to the presidential elections on Sunday in Mali.
Speaking before dozens of international observers who arrived in Mali to monitor the presidential poll, Malian Local Government Minister Kafougouna Koné dismissed any “tampering” with the voters’ register as claimed by the opposition. He blamed the “inadequacies” reported on the poor state of the register used to make an annual review of the voters’ lists which themselves help draw up the electoral rolls. “Deaths are still not notified to us”, observed Koné who was accompanied by his counterpart of the Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Moctar Ouane as well as the head of the Elections Department (DGE), the body in charge of running the electoral list in Mali.
Kone justified the innovations included in this year’s electoral code (sponsoring of presidential candidates, single ballot paper) for the sake of economy as the last presidential election in 2002 cost 100 million CFA francs to each of the 23 candidates. The Malian minister further noted that the rate of the voters’ cards’ withdrawal had slightly increased from about 64% to a 66.68 overall average or some 4.5 million voters out of the seven million that are expected to cast their ballots on Sunday.
The slight increase is believed to be caused by the withdrawal of cards from distribution centres set up for Malian expatriates. For the future distribution of cards, some traditions banning Malian women from going out “need to be addressed” in the future, Koné suggested while pledging to make arrangements according to the law for the non-distributed voters’ cards to be made available in polling stations at the latest at 8 o’clock, the time agreed to begin voting exercise across the country.
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