Mali: Independent National Electoral Commission

Update May 2020

The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) is not established by the Constitution of the Republic of Mali 1992, instead it was established by the electoral law (Loi 06-044 du 4 septembre 2006 portant loi électorale, Articles 3-24). The CENI, which is seated in Bamako, is responsible for supervising and monitoring referenda and presidential, legislative and commune elections (Article 3).


The CENI is comprised of 15 members who must meet the criteria of competence, integrity, good moral character, impartiality and must enjoy their full civil and political rights (Loi 06-044, 4, 6), Of these (Loi 06-044, 4):

  • ten are nominated by the political parties according to an equitable distribution among the political parties of the majority and the opposition;
  • one is nominated by religious denominations;
  • one is nominated by the Independent Union of Magistrates;
  • one is nominated by the Bar Council;
  • one is nominated by the Human Rights Defence Association; and
  • one is nominated by the Women's Association Umbrella Body (CAFO).

The nominations are made and replaced in terms of each organisation's own prescriptions, they must submit their nominees within 15 days of notification by the Minister of Territorial Administration and failure to do so does not affect the legal regularity of the CENI (Loi 06-044, 7). The 15 members nominated by the various bodies and appointed by a decree of the Council of Ministers elect an executive headed by a chairperson and make all decisions by a majority vote of members present (Loi 06-044, 22, 23). People who have been convicted of crimes or unrehabilitated insolvents, or people that have been deprived of their civil rights by a court ruling, may not be nominated (Loi 06-044, 8). Parties and candidates wishing to challenge the legality of nominations must lodge their complaint with Supreme Court within fifteen (15) days from the date of publication of the formal decree of appointment issued by the Council of Ministers (Loi 06-044, 11, 12). The terms of service and remuneration are set in a decree of the Council of Ministers (Loi 06-044, 13).

Term of office

The CENI is not a permanent body, but one that is constituted afresh before each election and is dissolved after three months after the final polling results have been announced (Loi 06-044, 10, 17). To provide for some continuity, all documents and materials are transferred to the Ministry of Territorial Administration to safeguard for the next incoming CENI (Loi 06-044, 10, 18).


The CENI and its structures are tasked with ensuring fair elections and referenda through supervision and monitoring operations, including (Loi 06-044, 14):

  • establishing and/ or revision of the voters rolls for general elections or referenda;
  • the preparation and management of the electoral register;
  • the preparation, printing and distribution of voter cards;
  • the provision of election materials and documents;
  • the management of national and international observers;
  • the conduct of the election;
  • the preperation and implementation of proxy voting;
  • the voting; and
  • the reconcilliation of ballots, vote counting, transmission of records and the centralization and announcement of results.

Moreover, the CENI and its structures must ensure voters and candidates enjoy and are able to freely exercise their rights, including having comments recorded by the Presiding Officers aimed at ensuring that the provisions of electoral law are met (Loi 06-044, 15). The CENI is also tasked with ensuring that the electoral law is complied with by all, including administrative authorities, and if compliance is not forthcoming may prosecute offenders (Loi 06-044, 16).

Secretariat functions

To assist the CENI, a General Elections Directorate (Délégation Générale aux Elections) is established in terms of a decree by the Council of Ministers which is headed by a Director General and Deputy Director General, both of whom are full time appointee of the President (Loi 06-044, 25). The Directorate is responsible for:

  • the development and management of the electoral register;
  • the preparation and printing of voters' cards;
  • the management of public financing of political parties; and
  • assisting the CENI. at its request.

In addition to this, the Ministry of Territorial Administration is responsible for (Loi 06-044, 26):

  • the technical and practical preparations for all elections and referenda;
  • the practical organization of the referendum and elections;
  • the development of procedures and operations for polling;
  • the centralization and the announcement of the provisional results of polls;
  • the provision of polling documentation to the Constitutional Court; and
  • the centralization and preservation of municipal election documentation.


The state provides the material and human resources to the CENI attain its objectives and its operating costs are provided for in the budget in accordance with the principles of public accounting (Loi 06-044, 24).


At the completion of its term (three months or more after the announcement of the final results the CENI must submit a report to the President, which must be made public within the following three months (Loi 06-044, 17).


Constitution of the Republic of Mali 1992 Adopted by referendum on 12 January 1992 and promulgated on the 25 February 1992; amended 1999.

Loi électorale n06-044 du 4 septembre 2006 consolidée (Modifiée par la loi n2011-085 du 30 décembre 2011 et la loi n2013-017 du 21 mai 2013).