Foreign Minister Westerwelle says high turnout in Mali elections shows people want a fresh start
BERLIN, Germany, July 29, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement today (29 July) in response to the first round of Mali's presidential elections:
“I am relieved that the election was largely peaceful and went by without any major security incidents.
It seems that voter turnout was high, demonstrating the Malian people's strong desire to support the democratic fresh start.
What is important now is that the election process be concluded in an orderly fashion. Above all, there needs to be transparency and accountability in the way the votes are counted.”
Sunday saw Mali's 6.9 million registered voters called on to vote for a new president. There were 27 candidates on the ballot. This election is intended as a first step towards overcoming the severe domestic crisis in Mali after separatists and Islamists seized power in the north of the country during the past year. The results of the first round of the elections are expected at the end of this week.