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Local elections postponed for the third time

[Nigeria] Zimbabwean farmer John Sawyer (pictured right) taking a tour of the farmland allocated to them in Nigeria. Zimbabwean farmers, kicked off their land back home, have been invited to share their farming expertise in West Africa.
John Sawyer (à droite) en compagnie d’autres fermiers zimbabwéens faisant le tour de l’exploitation agricole qui leur a été attribuée dans la région centrale du Nigeria (IRIN)

Local elections originally set for January 1998 in rural communes in Mali have been postponed for the third time.

The polls will now be held on 2 May in the southern regions of Kayes, Koulikoro, Sikasso and Segou, and on 6 June in Mopti, Tombouctou, Gao and Kidal in the north.

The elections are being held at different times in the north and south to make it easier for the authorities to organise them in the country’s 682 new rural municipalities, Souleymane Drabo, editor-in-chief of ‘l’Essor’ newspaper in Bamako, told IRIN. These were created as part of a process of decentralisation, he said.

The local elections were to have been held in January 1998, but faulty voters’ lists led to a first postponement to May 1998. After the lists were redone, an opposition boycott led to a second postponement - to 18 April and 23 May in the south and north respectively.

Elections in Mali’s 19 urban communes were held last year.

The latest postponement was made at the request of a group of 17 opposition parties which asked the government on 20 March for more time to complete their campaigns, Drabo said.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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