EISA Mali: Strengthening the Multi-Party Liaison Committee
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:
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.
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:
After the presentations by the experts from the Ministry and discussions that followed, the recommendations below were reached:
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.
The three Election Management Bodies in Mali are:
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
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.
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.