EISA Mali: Strengthening the Multi-Party Liaison Committee

Multi-Party Liaison Committee briefing

July 2014: MPLC meetings

Two activities of the Multi-Party Liaison Committee (MPLC) were supported by EISA Mali in July 2014. The first was a meeting to brief the MPLC on, and enable the political parties to discuss and to provide input into, the Road Map of the government on peace talks with rebels and the composition and mandate of the Independent National Electoral Commission. The second activity was a meeting with the Minister of Interior and Security on the draft law on the political opposition and the status of the opposition leader.

Activity 1: Briefings and discussions on the peace talks Road Map and on CENI

On Thursday, 10 July 2014, EISA supported a meeting of the MPLC. The political parties met with the Minister of Interior and Security and the High Representative of the President of the Republic for the inter-Malian inclusive peace talks. A total of 95 officials from 48 political parties participated in the meeting. Two issues were dealt with during the meeting:

  1. Road Map for peace talks
    Political parties were briefed by the High Representative of President of the Republic on the peace talks between the government and northern rebel movements due to take place from 16 to 24 July 2014 in Algiers. The Road Map drafted by the government was explained to the political parties for their comments and advice. The meeting was another opportunity for political leaders to voice their concerns about the crisis in the North and make suggestions for a successful inclusive dialogue.
  2. Composition and mandate of the CENI in the new political context
    A presentation was made on the new political context after the 2013 presidential and legislative election and 2014 electoral process so far. After the presentation and the discussions that followed, political parties reached an agreement on keeping the current Independent National Electoral Commission for the forthcoming municipal and regional elections. 37 out of 48 political parties proposed to keep the current commission while 10 parties wanted a new commission and one party abstained.

Activity 2: Meeting with Minister of Interior and Security

On Wednesday 23 July 2014 EISA supported a meeting of the MPLC with the Minister of Interior and Security on the draft law on the political opposition and the status of the opposition leader.

The presentation the draft law by the experts from the Ministry was followed by an open debate on each of the 24 articles of the draft. The meeting which gathered 76 participants was an opportunity for the political parties to amend the new draft law. The agreed amendments will be included in the final draft before it is sent to Parliament.

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June 2014: MPLC workshop

EISA supported a Multi-Party Liaison Committee (MPLC) workshop between the Ministry of Interior and Security and political parties in Bamako, on 19 June 2014. The workshop gathered 113 participants including political parties' leaders, the Minister himself, officials from the Ministry, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), Délégation Générale aux Elections (DGE), EISA office staff and experts from the PAPEM/UNDP. Participants were divided into 3 work groups to discuss the following themes:

  • The amendments of the electoral law, the code of the local communities and the particular status of the district of Bamako
  • Harmonisation of municipal and regional elections
  • The planning of the electionsmali2014mplc02
  • The biometric voter register
  • The Independent National Electoral Commission (dissolve the current one or not)

After the presentations by the experts from the Ministry and discussions that followed, the recommendations below were reached:

  • Postponement of the elections due to be held in October 2014 (new date to be precised in cabinet meeting) in order to undertake a new voter registration so as to update the biometric register. The main objective is the inclusion of new grown-ups, refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
  • Amended law and code to be submitted to the parliament
  • Intensive voter education activities to encourage voter registration and explain harmonised elections
  • The Minister must propose a new planning in due time
  • The debate on the INEC was postponed for 10 July 2014.

As shown above, this workshop was crucial in the current electoral process and it was an opportunity for the political stakeholders to express their wishes and raise their concerns to the MIS.

Explanatory note

The three Election Management Bodies in Mali are:

  1. the Délégation Générale aux Elections (DGE) in charge of the voters' register and voter cards;
  2. the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) in charge of supervising the whole electoral process; and
  3. the Ministry of Interior and Security (MIS) in charge of the actual management of elections.

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2013 Presidential Election

The 2014 presidential election took place on 28 July and, because no candidate obtained an absolute majortity, a runoff was conducted on 11 August.

Inter-party and Party/EMB workshops supported

Although the MPLC was created in 2001, it was not operational. Through this project EISA facilitated the interaction between political parties and the Ministry of Territorial Administration (MAT) (under whose authority the MPLC's fall) as a priority of the project. This was achieved through thematic workshops on the different steps of the electoral process including the role of political parties in the success of voter card distribution, electoral campaigning and compliance with the Code of Conduct, the role political parties in electoral conflict Inter-party and Party/EMB workshops
prevention and management. Workshops were conducted in Bamako as well as in other regions. Before the election, six workshops were facilitated in Bamako and five in the following regions: Segou, Sikasso, Mopti, Koulikoro and Bougouni. The main achievement was the facilitation of a platform for engagement. This included an opportunity provided to political parties to raise their concerns regarding the conduct of the electoral process and to share their views on issues they faced during the electoral process.

Post election evaluation workshops convened

After the election the 2013 presidential election, EISA organised two evaluation workshops in Bamako, one with the political party leaders and another with the political parties' women committee. Another evaluation workshop was organised in Gao (a formerly occupied northern region). These workshops were an additional opportunity for political parties to assess the conduct of the presidential election and make suggestions on improvements to make for the legislative elections. The evaluation meeting of Gao was a unique opportunity for political stakeholders in this region to interact directly with the regional authorities after the election, which was not the case after previous elections.

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2013 Parliamentary Elections

The first round of the National Assembly took place on 24 November and the runoff was held on 15 December.

Political Party/EMB workshops supported

During these elections EISA supported two (02) meetings between the MAT and political parties in Bamako, on 31 October and 14 November 2014. The first meeting dealt with the state of preparedness by the MAT whereas the second one was about the state of the special voter transfers, the voter lists and the dispatch of polling centres and stations. These meetings were good opportunities for parties to interact with the Ministry and raise their concerns directly.

EISAs approach of thematic workshops made the meetings very relevant and beneficial to participants and made the Multi-party Liaison Committee attractive again after a period of lack of real interaction between political parties and the relevant authority.