July 29 - Counting began in Mali after voters turned out in large numbers for a presidential election they hope will provide a fresh start after a year of turmoil. Lily Grimes reports.
As night falls, the count begins in Mali's presidential election. Voters turned out in large numbers on Sunday for a vote they hope will provide a fresh start after more than a year of turmoil, war and an army coup. Officials say they have distributed 85 percent of the ID cards needed to vote but this official in the northern town of Kidal said some complained their names were not on voter lists. Although the stand-off with Tuareg rebels in Kidal has not yet been resolved, after visiting the area EU chief observer Louis Michel said voting went well. He's still awaiting feedback from observers in the field. A U.N. source said there were reports of rebels preventing people from voting here in Gao but it's unclear how many were affected. Despite this, the threat of militant attacks on polling stations in the north did not materialise. In the capital Bamako polling stations were busy throughout the day. Provisional results are expected on Tuesday. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent there will be a second round of voting.