Mali parliamentary vote inconclusive, heads for second round

BAMAKO Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:02am GMT

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BAMAKO (Reuters) - Mali's three main political parties secured just 16 seats out of 147 available in the first round of a parliamentary election, provisional results showed on Wednesday.

The election, which took place on Sunday amid low turnout and some voting abuses, was meant to complete the West African country's transition back to democracy after a coup last year led to an Islamist takeover of the north.

Militants were later driven out by a French-led invasion but pockets of resistance have remained.

The turnout in the election was 38.5 percent, Minister of Territorial Administration Moussa Sinko Coulibaly said late on Wednesday.

Malians will vote again on December 15 in a second round in the constituencies where there was no majority winner.

The party of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, RPM, secured eight seats, according to party official Mahamadou Camara.

Keita's losing presidential rival, Soumaila Cisse, secured his own seat in Timbuktu and his party won five others, while a third party, Adema-PASJ, took two seats.

In total, some 1,087 candidates from 410 electoral lists competed for the 147 parliamentary seats. The vote is being closely watched by donors which have pledged $3.25 billion to rebuild the impoverished country and bring stability back to the lawless north.

(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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