Mali kicks off presidential polls   2013-07-28 16:38:20            

BAMAKO, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The first round of Mali's presidential elections was opened Sunday morning.

The polls began at 8:00 a.m. (0800 GMT), according to a Xinhua correspondent in the Malian capital Bamako.

The West African country is expected to hold the elections to end the crisis lingering on since March 22, 2012, when the military junta toppled the elected government in a coup and rebels swept through the northern part soon afterwards.

The elections are unfolded throughout the territory in Mali and its diplomatic missions abroad.

According to the authorities, more than 6.87 million voters have been registered to cast their ballots at the 25,000 polling stations both at home and abroad.

A run-off would be held on Aug. 11, if none of the 27 candidates could obtain an absolute majority of votes in the first round.

Editor: Yang Yi
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