June 26, 2013 -
Mali’s presidential election is nearly a month away, and Morpho has delivered the biometric voter cards to the capital, though instability in the country is still cause for concern. Now the U.N. is stepping in to help deliver the cards and ensure a smooth election.
Reported in RFI, this election marks the first Malian election using biometrics. The new voter cards, dubbed the Nina card (National Identification Number) contain facial images and fingerprints of cardholders, and will be distributed starting this week.
The biometrics used for the cards and the electoral register as a whole came from a population census in the country from three years ago.
Despite the new cards, an election will likely be a logistical challenge in Mali right now, as violence has erupted in northern areas of the country and many are concerned for the stability of the region.
According to an AP report, the U.N. Security Council has just approved the deployment of a new peacekeeping force for Mali, to help the government regain control of rebel-held areas and to organize this important election in the country.
From the report, “the immediate challenge for the new U.N. force will be to help implement the agreement with the rebels in Kidal, including disarming the rebels and accompanying the return of the Malian army to the city. That is crucial to the success of presidential elections scheduled for July 28, said Albert Gerard Koenders, special representative of the secretary-general for Mali. The U.N. mission will play a key support role in the election, including distributing of identification cards to voters in the north, many of them displaced by the fighting, Koenders told the council.”