BAMAKO, Mali, December 17, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The ECOWAS Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Mali’s second-round Parliamentary polls on 15th December has commended Malians for their peaceful conduct and the “imminent successful conclusion of the political transition” in the country following its security and political crises from last year.
In its 14-point Preliminary Declaration, the 50-member Mission led by Prof. Amos Sawyer, Liberia’s former President of Government of National Unity, adjudged the elections as “having taken place in acceptable conditions of freedom and transparency,” adding that “some incidents” observed in a few polling stations and the “low voter turnout did not in any way lower the conduct of the elections below internationally accepted standards.”
“I am optimistic that Mali is on the right path,” Prof. Sawyer said at a press conference after the release of the Declaration.
He described the elections as “another milestone in the rebuilding of democratic institutions that should be accompanied by national dialogue and reconciliation,” noting that with the support of the international community mobilized by ECOWAS, much progress would be achieved.
In the declaration, read by Ambassador Leopold Ouedraogo, a Member of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise, the EOM called on “the international community to live up to its commitment of providing resources and facilities for the much needed post-conflict peace-building and reconstruction efforts in Mali, in order to enhance full recovery and stability” of the country.
The Observer Mission also urged Malians to “sustain and deepen the ongoing democratic process,” and enjoined the Government to “brace up for the task of achieving cohesion in the country,” by strengthening the reconciliation process it put in place.
It commended the regional Mediator on Mali, President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso and the Associate Mediator, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, for facilitating the constructive dialogue which heralded the political transition process.
While noting that the security situation in the country “has remained calm but fragile in the South, and quite volatile in the North amidst growing terrorist attacks in the northern regions of Timbuktu and Kidal,” the EOM, however, said the combined efforts of the Mali Defence and Security Force, the UN Mission, MINUSMA and the French Forces “have stabilized the situation to an extent.”
It called on the allied forces to intensify efforts in sustaining the war against terrorism to enhance stability and development in the country.
The run-off poll was to elect 127 Deputies to Mali’s 147-Member National Assembly following the inconclusive first round balloting on 24th November that produced only 20 Deputies.
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