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Counting Mali’s Contentious Vote

Vote counting began on Monday in Mali as polling stations closed in the final round of legislative elections held on Sunday April 19. The vote was held amid the coronavirus pandemic with the aim to revive confidence in the country’s embattled governance institutions despite a bloody terrorist conflict. Sunday’s vote was the second and final round of parliamentary polls. It concludes the process to fill the 147-seat National Assembly. The vote was the first since 2013 when President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s Rally for Mali party won a majority. Turnout in the first round averaged over 35 percent nationwide. Two hours before the end of second-round voting on Sunday, turnout was just over 16 percent, according to election observers. The election was billed for late 2018 but was postponed several times, mainly because of security concerns. Some observers have questioned the legitimacy of the results, expected to be published this week.