U.S. to observe Malian elections

July 26, 2013 at 10:15 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, July 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. Embassy in Mali said it has more than 50 observers in and around the capital city to observe the first round of presidential elections Sunday.

Mali pledged to European leaders during a May donors conference it would hold its first round of presidential elections Sunday. Female candidates are for the first time competing in an election along with more than two dozen others.

Mali's political system was upended in an early 2012 coup. National security collapsed when al-Qaida and foreign rebels seized territory in the wake of the coup and French forces intervened in January to help its former colony.

The U.S. Embassy said it plans to send 58 observers to polling stations Sunday to survey the election.

"Democratic elections are the critical first step in Mali's return to constitutional order and establishing a government with the necessary legitimacy to pursue longer-term priorities," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a Thursday press conference.

The U.S. Embassy in Bamako issued a travel advisory for U.S. citizens in the country ahead of the election. It said political and national security was fluid.

"While the U.S. Embassy has no advance indication of expected civil unrest on either day, it has advised its staff to remain at home on July 28 due to the possibility of demonstrations and/or road closures," the warning read.

Topics: Ali Said
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
China questions Americanism in SATs
Dairy Queen hit by Backoff malware breach
St. Paul police arrest a black man for sitting on a bench waiting for his children
Plague bomb data found on seized Islamic State laptop
'Old Ironsides' sails across Boston Harbor before 3-year-rehab
Trending News