Heavy rain casts dark cloud over Mali election
BAMAKO (AFP) - Voters and officials braving torrential rain to take part in Mali's presidential election run-off on Sunday voiced concerns that the weather could badly affect turnout, in a vote seen as crucial to restoring stability in the conflict-scarred nation.
Residents in the capital Bamako woke up to gloomy skies and heavy downpours, and polling stations reported smaller numbers of voters than during the first round, when a turnout of nearly 50 per cent was seen as a key sign that the electoral process would be viewed as credible.
"At the moment, it's a disaster," said an election commission delegate at a voting centre in Bamako, telling AFP numbers were significantly down on the 300 people who had turned up by the same point in the July 28 vote.
"Today there are not even 20 and we really hope the rain will stop and people will come to vote," he said.