Mali holds long-delayed polls amid security fears

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Ballot boxes have been burned in Mali’s Timbuktu city and one candidate was kidnapped elsewhere during the first local elections since al-Qaeda-aligned fighters were driven out from several northern towns in 2013.

The election – held two years later than scheduled – coincided with the first anniversary of an armed attack on the Radisson Blu hotel in the capital Bamako that killed 20 people, many of them foreigners.

 “We have already delayed these elections four times so that they can be inclusive and four times is enough,” President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita told reporters after voting on Sunday. Mali’s constitution bars further delays.

 

The opposition Union for the Republic and Democracy party denounced what it called fraud in the vote preparations, which it said would benefit Keita’s government. A government spokesman was not immediately available to comment on the allegations.

Aljazeera

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