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Earliest legislative polls in Mali expected in October

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-8-14 21:56:38

Mali's Territorial Administration Ministry said on Wednesday, without giving precise dates, that the West African country's legislative elections will be held between October and November, followed by municipal elections set for 2014.

"We expect to hold them in October or November. We have gone through a very challenging crisis and we wish to end it as soon as possible," said Gamer Dicko, the ministry's public relations officer.

Earlier, the head of the European Union (EU) election observer mission, Louis Michel, urged the authorities to organize the legislative and municipal elections as soon as possible to end the political crisis.

Responding to Michel's concerns, Dicko said the decision to organize the elections was a requirement by the Malian Constitution and that the authorities gave the priority to the presidential elections.

"We believe that holding the presidential elections first would help resolve the crisis, the Territorial Administration Ministry official said.

"Since 1992, we have organized three presidential, legislative and municipal elections after a given period of time. We have a lot of experience in electoral matters," he said.

The organization of the 2013 presidential elections was considered a very important step to the establishment of a democratic regime in Mali, following a rebellion in January 2012 by the separatist National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), which was followed by a coup two months later.

About 6,000 Malian and international observers were mobilized to monitor the 2013 presidential elections.

Soumaila Cisse, one of the two contestants in the second round, conceded defeat on Monday evening and congratulated the winner, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Posted in: Africa