Turning the Page: Malians Vote for a New President

Publication Date: 
29 Jul 2013

On July 28, Malians cast ballots for their next President. This was the first nationwide poll under a new constitution adopted after a March 2012 coup d’état that overthrew then President Amadou Toumanu Touré.

This election is considered an important next step in Mali’s return to democracy.

IFES' team in Mali provides a look at Election Day from Bamako.

How was the mood on Election Day?

Voters were enthusiastic and Election Day was peaceful, with large amounts of voters coming to polling stations to exercise their civic right. It seemed voters were keen to turn the page and move past the crisis that has occupied Mali since March 2012.

There were some issues with voters being unable to find their polling station or their names on voter lists. Frustrations that stemmed from this problem generally came from the strong will of Malians to vote and have a say in their country’s future.

 How was turnout?

Although official voter turnout information is not available yet, observed participation during the election was very high. Observers believe this could be a historic level of voter turnout for Mali –a country that has an average voter turnout of roughly 35 percent. In particular, many noticed the massive participation of women and older voters, some of whom were voting for the first time.

 How was security?

Malian security forces, including the riot police, ensured security during the election and were posted at the entrance of polling centers. However, Election Day in Bamako was peaceful and these security forces were not required to use force.

Who observed the election?

International observers included the European Union, U.S. Embassy, Africa Union, Canadian Embassy, the Economic Community Of West African States, West African Monetary Union, Community of Sahela-Saharan States, British Embassy, CARITAS and the International Republican Institute.

Domestic observation missions included observers from the civil society group Appui au Processus Electoral au Mali, also known as APEM, as well as several smaller organizations.

When will results be announced?

The Minister of Territorial Administration must announce official provisional results, at the latest, five days after voting takes place. However, there are speculations that provisional results may be announced as early as Tuesday, July 30.

Final results are announced by the Constitutional Court. There is no deadline or set date for this announcement.

When will the elected take office?

Article 37 of the Malian Constitution states that the elected President will take his position 15 days following the announcement of official results from the final round of voting.