May 16, 2011, 1:23 PM
Reports confirmed that people came out in many parts of the country to vote under the close protection of Malian, French and United Nations forces.
Political observers say that a successful vote on Sunday would mark a significant step towards recovery, after a March 2012 coup followed by the occupation of the desert north by separatist Tuareg rebels and al Qaeda-linked fighters.
We salute the people in our sister country for ensuring a peaceful election, and urge them to maintain the momentum even after the results are announced.
Since in any case only one candidate could win the election, we urge all candidates to accept the outcome of the elections, and to maintain peace in that country.
The candidates must all know very well that democracy is all about the government of the people, by the people and for the people, and nothing less.
People of Mali in recent times have suffered a lot, and anyone who happens to win the presidential election should make peace and security his or her top priority.
Bringing the people of the entire nation together would be another challenge for the new leader, but would be key in guaranteeing continued peace in the country.
Finally, we congratulate the people of Mali for the peaceful conduct of their national election so far, and urge them to keep up the momentum.