After relaunching its office in April 2018, with European Union financial assistance, EISA Mali identified four Civil Society Organisations it could support that would be able to focus on citizen observation during the electoral processes around the presidential elections conducted in late July 2018.
70 long-term observers, including 28 women, were deployed during the national dialogue in the communes (7-8 October 2019), circles (14-15 October 2019) and regions (21-23 October 2019) of the country.
It should be noted that EISA CSO partners are part of the dialogue committees set up by the government at all levels ie communes, circles, regions and national. As such they participate at all these levels and put forward their recommendations. In this context, during the preparatory workshop on the contribution of civil society to the national dialogue, (7-8 September 2019).
A challenge has been the lack of interest in register with the civil registry which, in turn, meant that young people were not included in RAVEC, and therefore the voters' list. Amongst several recommendations made by POCIM to the ministry in charge of administration reforms, was to make possession of new biometric ID cards issued by the civil registry mandatory for access to university. This was agreed to by the government which means that more young people are included in the voters' list as the electoral register is extracted from the civil register. This decision is in according to state policy that provides for the use of more reliable administration documents.
The citizen network supported by EISA, POCIM released three important communiqués on the political context and the legislative elections in the Republic of Mali. The first related to the establishment of the new government (May 7, 2019), the second on the holding of the legislative elections (May 22, 2019) and the third on the prorogation of the mandate of the deputies and the conduct of the process inclusive political dialogue in the Republic of Mali (10 June 2019). These releases were part of Pool d'Observation Citoyenne au Mali (POCIM; Pool for Citizen Observation in Mali)'s strategy to press for the publication of a detailed calendar of the postponed elections.
Following these releases POCIM met with the head of opposition and the Front for the Protection of Democracy (FSD), Mr. Soumaila Cissé (23 May 2019), the Coalition of Patriotic Forces (COFOP) (25 May 2019), the Ministry in charge of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation (MATD) (June 5, 2019) and, the General Delegation for Elections (DGE) (June 18, 2019) where they presented their reports and communiqués mentioned above. POCIM also shared their reports with the Coalition for Citizen Election Observation in Mali (COCEM) on June 20, 2019 (supported by NDI) to finds ways to collaborate and better coordinate their efforts to cover the next stages of the political and electoral process.
In addition, to strengthen their report writing skills EISA trained the POCIM core team of 12 people (27% women) in report writing and follow up of recommendations.
In the interim period before the legislative elections scheduled for June 2019, the Pool d'Observation Citoyenne au Mali (POCIM; Pool for Citizen Observation in Mali) deployed 28 observers to observe the regional consultations regarding the establishment of the new administrative division held from 13 to 17 November 2018 in the 10 regional capitals of the country and the district of Bamako.
POCIM produced two reports in February 2019, one on the two rounds of the presidential election of 2018 and the other on the progress of the regional consultations. These reports were made public on 12 March 2019 at a press conference. The reports were well received as they included recommendations that will be helpful for the forthcoming legislative elections.
At the same time, considering the new electoral calendar for the legislative elections, POCIM undertook the updating of its database of long-term observers with a view to their training and deployment as from 15 April 2019.
The Pool for Citizen Observation, supported by EISA Mali, trained and deployed 84 LTO and 1980 STO all over the country.
From 28 to 30 July an integrated situation room was establised with EISA Mali support in order to deal with the coordination of all observers and the 420 mediators deployed. The data collected in real time would help for early warning during election.
On 28 29 July POCIM issued its initial observation statements (see Mali 2018 presidential election EOM Statements).
The training of LTOs was conducted in early July to enable the observation of the political party campaigning, which started on 8 July, as well as the distribution of voter cards. Managing the competing interests of the different CSOs took a great deal of time and some delays were experienced until consensus and a common understanding could be reached and training could begin.
The Citizen Observation Pool, with EISA's support, would establish a situation room where they would manage the co-ordination of data and reports as they came in from LTOs and the Short Term Observers (STOs). The 1890 STOS were trained in late July.
Working with EISA's four CSO election partners, a network "Citizen Observation Pool of Mali" (POCIM) was put in place. EISA Mali supported the recruitment of 84 long term observers (LTO) and the development of a countrywide deployment plan for the LTOs.