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Cablegate: Esf Funding Proposal for Mali

VZCZCXRO2607
RR RUEHLMC
DE RUEHBP #1348 3251459
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211459Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAMAKO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8426
INFO RUEHLMC/MCC WASHINGTON DC 0090

UNCLAS BAMAKO 001348

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV ML
SUBJECT: ESF FUNDING PROPOSAL FOR MALI

STATE 151653

1. In response to reftel, Post proposes to grant 175,000 dollars to
NDI to provide support for the municipal elections, planned for
March 2009. The April 2007 presidential elections posed many
challenges, including the use of the single ballot and voter
registration problems. The participation rate was very low, and
observers noted many irregularities. Municipal elections are
extremely important in a decentralized system, since they determine
how local decisions are made and by whom. Radio stations (of which
there are now over 230 in Mali) could play an important role in
informing voters of the new procedures, and encouraging citizens to
vote. We propose that the grant to NDI focus on radio information
campaigns to prepare Malians for these elections by encouraging
greater participation and helping to avoid the problems witnessed in
April. The grant would fund salaries, office space, production of
radio messages and air time on local FM stations.

2. This project contributes to the Embassy's objective to promote
Political Competition and Consensus-Building under the category of
Elections and Political Processes. This project advances U.S.
Government interests by promoting and reinforcing democracy in a
region of historic turbulence and instability.
McCulley

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