The founder of the Mali Empire was Mandika Sundiata Keita, who in 1235, from his small state of Kangaba, unified a vast region, which was already part of the rich lands of Niger and its gold mines.

Around the year 1300, Mali was a confederation of 3 allied states (Mali, Mema and Wagadou) and 12 provinces. Its major commercial cities, Djenné and Tombuctú, enriched, leading them to control almost all the trans-saharan transactions for salt, gold and other goods up until the decline of the empire, which arrived the rebellion of the vassal provinces in the end of the XIV century, culminating with the conquest of Djenné by the Songhai in 1471.

The zone was later colonized. The French explorer René Caillé arrived at Tombuctú in 1828, beginning the first military campaigns in 1878.

The first steps toward sovereignty took place in 1946, with the Territorial Assembly election, who had the right to send their representatives to the French Parliament. During the next decades, Mali continued working towards their independence up until September 22, 1960 when they declared themselves the Republic of Maliunder the presidency of Modibo Keita.

In November of 1968, a coup put lieutenant Moussa Traoré in power, who established a military dictatorship with a single political party, the DUMP (Democratic Union of Malian People). The resistance against facilitating a transition to democracy by General Traoré generated a growing discontent from the political and student class since 1989. The bloody and massive demonstrations led to a coup on March 24, 1991, led by Colonel Amadou Toumani Traoré, who, in front of the Transition Committee for the Popular Salvation, set the foundation for the demarcation transition of the country.


The democratic transition made way for the constitution on January 12, 1992, in that moment more than 40 political parties were legalized and a multi partisan system was established. The legislative elections of March 1992 resulted in the winning of ADEMA (Alliance for Democracy in Mali), and the April presidential elections in the same year resulted in the winning of the presidential candidate of the same political party, Alpha Oumar Konaré.

The government system of Mali is semi-presidential, where the President of the Republic names the Prime Minister and has the power to dissolve the Nation Assembly (147 seats).

The current political situation in Mali is highly unstable since 2012, when two scenarios exist:

  1. On the one hand, Bamako finds itself in a false consolidation of the democracy incited by the presidential elections in 2013 after the March 2012 coup.

  • President Amadou Toumani Touré was deposed by the militants under Amadou Sanogo, who protested for the lack of mediums to exercise their efforts against the Tuareg rebellion led by the Northern MNLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad). With the coup, the constitution was suspended and a curfew was implemented. The Communal Western African Economy (ECOWAS) imposed penalties, a new constitution was written out and presidential elections were convened again.
  • As a result, Dioncounda Traoré becomes the provincial president and months later presidential elections are celebrated again when Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta becomes president. In the 2018 elections he was re-elected (with a 67.2% vote) during a time with low voter turnout, a political fragmentation and numerous critiques.

2 On the other hand, asymmetric terrorist attacks in the northern part of the country against the United Nations and the Armed Forces of Mali (FAMa) took place, along with additional confrontations among fractions of different armed groups.

  • In regards to safety, the country and region seems to be worsening. According to recent information from the United Nation, violin incidents have tripled in the last year and oly a third of state officials have complied with their positions in the northern and central region of Mopti. This situation makes Mali a dangerous place.
  • Violations against human rights continue to rise: tortures, disappearances, executions, recruitment of children soldiers, gender violence, among others. Despite international security and cooperation, Mali hasn’t been able to guarantee the protection of its citizens.

European Union electoral observation mission in Mali

The Delegation of the European Union in the Republic of Mali represents all the European institutions in the country. Its main functions are:

  • Representation of the European Union and political dialogue with the State of Mali and civil society;
  • Support for initiatives promoting the development of trade with Europe in the field of trade;
  • Support for sustainable development and the fight against poverty.
  • Policy coordination carried out in collaboration with the Member States of the European Union, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Breton Woods institutions, the United Nations agencies, as well as other donors.

The delegation plays an important role in the analysis of the local situation from the political and economic point of view, thus contributing to the definition of the strategy of the European Union regarding Mali and the subregion.

Below we can see the reports of the EU electoral missions in Mali. These reports describe the conditions under which the elections of July and August 2018 and 2013 were held and give an analysis of their results.


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European External Action Service

The European Union carries out electoral observation missions to promote democracy, human rights and the law worldwide. This activity contributes to:

  • The strengthening of democratic institutions.
  • Building public trust in electoral processes.
  • The arrest of corruption, intimidation and violence.
  • Election observation missions also reinforce the objectives of the European Union's foreign policy, specifically to build peace.

EU delegations play a key role in presenting, explaining and implementing the EU's external policies in host countries. They analyze the policies and events in these countries and carry out negotiations in accordance with their mandates.