On July 28th 2013, 48% of Malians went to the polls to choose their leader. We thank all our supporters in the United States, Mali and the rest of the world who have kept our presidential dream alive. We thank you for the countless prayers and financial contributions that have allowed us to compete with other candidates with deep pockets and keep going in the face of much adversity and challenge.
During the first round, the top contenders were 68 year old IBK versus 64 year old Soumaila Cisse. Both men have had extensive experience in the government. The second round was held on August 11, 2013. From provisional results released a few days ago, IBK seems to be the victor. If true, he will become the President of Mali for the next 5 years.
Our party, which is a 2 year young party, placed 16th out of 28 candidates. While we are very disappointed at our performance and were hopeful for a more successful outcome, we are proud of the people of Mali who acknowledged the accomplishments of PACP versus other parties that have been on the political scene for more than 10 years. It brought hope back to us that people do want change and it is our responsibility to continue to educate many more fellow Malians about who we are and what we can do for Mali.
It was a great honor for us to participate in the race for the Presidency. Through our candidacy and campaign to turn the page of 20 years of mismanagement, we met with Malians inside and outside to understand their aspirations, their concerns, their expectations and their dreams.
During the second round, Yeah chose to not follow any of the two top candidates IBK or Soumaila Cisse. Throughout the campaign, our slogan has been to turn the page on old government and corruption. By supporting either of these candidates Yeah would have been compromising our strong stance on the need for change. Many of the young candidates chose to go with IBK in the second round. Many of these same candidates had been strong critics of the government and the need for change. When Yeah decided to go with neither candidate, people in Mali were amazed. Many people have congratulated Yeah for remaining true to his conviction and not being swayed by promises of money or a position in the new government. On the other hand, some of our opponents have launched political attacks to destroy our credibility.
The time is unsure right now for us right now. Despite this setback, we believe that no matter what the result, we will continue to serve the people of Mali in some capacity. If the new administration calls us to serve in a certain area, despite our political differences, that is something we will seriously consider in order to impact Malians in that area.
We will also continue to put attention and fund-raise for our Utah-based foundation Empower Mali.
Empower Mali was created to meet the growing need in the areas of education, healthcare and access to basic necessities in the rural communities of Mali, West Africa. Understanding that no one knows better how to resolve the issues of their community than the community members themselves, Empower Mali forms a unique partnership with the community connecting resources with communities in need. The ultimate goal is to raise Mali out of poverty, one community at a time. Empower Mali maintains a close partnership with communities, government and local authorities in Mali. We understand that local participation is key to the success of any sustainable development.
We are excited to start on projects in Mali. We already have funds raised to build one school which is in progress and we are currently raising funds for a Light-A-Village project to help bring lighting to a rural village in Mali. You can find out more at http://goalzero.fundly.com/empower-mali. We all have the ability to make a difference in the world. Check us out at www.empowermali.org or find out how you can affect Malians for good at firstname.lastname@example.org
The story has just begun. At the end of the day, we will accept and fulfill any role that allows us to fulfill our great ambition of bringing change to Mali. We will continue to keep you updated on our journey.
This has been an incredible experience and we are very grateful for your support and investment in our ambition to improve the lives of the Malian people. This journey would have been incomplete without the support of each and every one of you who cheered us on. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this dream a reality and for believing in us.
I assure you that our fight for a new Mali is just beginning!