IN THE NEWS

Security and political crisis in Mali: PACP denounces the old guard – L’Indicateur
 
Following recent events in Mali: The PACP party officials make a point - Mali Demain
 
Niankoro Yeah Samake at a PACP Press Conference: Choosing Diango Sissoko as Prime Minister is a setback for Mali – L’Independant
 
Political perspectives in Mali: PACP favors holding the elections before liberation of the North  - 22 Septembre
 
Yeah Samaké, President of the Party for Civic and Patriotic Action (PACP) – Le Phenix
 
Malian with Utah ties has big aspirations for his homeland  - Salt Lake Tribune
 
Yeah Samaké, “I have a passion for serving Mali” – Afribone
(more…)


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  • On November 24th 2013, Mali went to the polls once more. But this time it was to elect the delegates that would serve in the National Assembly of Mali. Yeah Samake had planned on running for the legislative race in his area of Kati. This seemed the next natural step to take in order to continue to allow Samake to help Malians in his area.Unfortunately, for corrupt reasons, Yeah Samake’s candidacy was invalidated and he was barred from running.

    Read more in Marissa Samake’s blog:

    http://firstladymali.com/2013/11/24/legistlative-election-day-in-mali/

    From Marissa Samake “Today was another election in Mali. Today was the day when Malians would go to the polls to choose the delegates that would represent their area in the National Assembly of Mali. Many news agencies and international organizations had touted this election as sealing the long road since the country was thrown into chaos in March 2012.

    As many of you know, Yeah had submitted all his papers to run in the legislative election. However after his papers were approved, his old party URD lodged a complaint stating that as an elected official Yeah had to step down from his role as Mayor since he was elected under the party URD.

    Read more »

    As a followup to the elections in Mali, the Meridian Magazine published this article about Yeah and his thoughts on the upcoming final elections. Read it here:

    Yeah Samake will Stay True to Change

    The first round of elections on July 28th in Mali did not yield a candidate with greater than 50% of the votes, so on August 11, the Malians went back to the polls. This time their choice was between two finalists and Yeah Samake, the only Mormon in Mali and a contender in the race, has been approached by both of the winners asking for his support. Yeah’s answer is no—and here’s why.

    Samake Soumaila Cisse and Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK) are the finalists, and both politicians have been on the Malian political scene for a very long time and held positions of power within the government in the past 20 years. This means they were part of the old guard, the power structure riddled with favors and weakness that has brought Mali to the brink. A bit about these two candidates.

    Read more »

    On July 28th 2013, 51% 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 dream alive. We thank you for the countless prayers and financial contributions that have allowed us to keep going in the face of much adversity and challenge.

    The results announced today show that the top two leaders are IBK, a 68 year old ex Prime Minister with high financial resources, and Soumaila Cisse, Mali’s 64-year old ex Finance minister who is known for corruption. In addition to the greater than $1B campaigns these individuals each ran, the call to vote for IBK by Muslim organizations in Mali during the holy month of Ramadan certainly overwhelmed the electoral process. Only three of the 28 candidates reached above five percent of the votes. The top two candidates will face off on August 11th for the Presidency in Mali. The President when inaugurated will serve a term of 5 years.

    My party, which is a 2 year young party, placed 16th out of 28 candidates. While I am very disappointed at our performance and was hopeful for a more successful outcome, I am 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 me that people do want change and it is my responsibility to continue to educate my fellow Malians about who I am and what I can do for Mali.

    It was a great honor for me to participate in the race for the Presidency. Through my candidacy and campaign to turn the page of 20 years of mismanagement, I met with Malians inside and outside to understand their aspirations, their concerns, their expectations and their dreams. I met people in the towns and villages that were tolerant and committed to democratic values. I observed in their eyes, the resolution of a people waiting to be inspired by a leader of integrity who has a high sense of service. I continue to hope and pray that a President will be chosen who is the answer to our collective prayers for a providential leader

    The time is unsure right now for me and my family. 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 continue to put attention on our Utah-based foundation Empower Mali that partners with Malian local leaders to help bring educational resources, healthcare and clean water to rural Mali.  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. The story has just begun.

    This has been an incredible experience and I am 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!

    Warmest Regards

    Yeah Samake

    Following the first round of elections on July 28, Dieneba DEME-DIALLO published this statement in the “Journal du Mali.”

    Yeah Samaké: “dès que le vainqueur sera connu, je le féliciterai”

    The PACP candidate Niankoro Yeah Samaké stood in front of the press this morning at the headquarters of his party Faladié to make a statement regarding the results of the 2013 presidential elections. 

    Prior to the official preliminary results of the election, presidential candidate Niankoro Yeah Samaké offers his congratulations to the man that will be declared the winner. “As a candidate, I congratulate the declared winner of the polls. It was an honor to participate in the preisdential race,” says Niankoro Yeah Samaké. “As the electoral process comes to an end, I ask the people of Mali to remain vigilant in their struggle to restory democracy. The post-election protests are not a bad thing but Malians must unite together as one nation,” said candidate Yeah Samaké. Partial results of the ballot were reported on Tuesday by the Minister of Territories, without specific numbers. We will support a candidate if there is a second round after the results have been officially announced. If both of the likely candidates, Soumaila Cisse and Imbrahim Boubacar Keita reach a majority, a second round of elections will take place on August 11. If there is a second ballot, candidate Yeah Samaké will support one of the two finalists. “We will support one of the candidates in the second round and we will fight vigorously in our campaign for him. For now, we are waiting for the official results. Our fight is for the development of Mali. We lost the battle, but we will prepare for the future,” he adds. Mali is waiting for the moment forward.

    At the PACP party launch and celebration of Yeah’s candidacy on July 10, Yeah gave an excellent accpetance speech, sharing his vision and plans for his country. Read the translated version here:

    Discours programme de Yeah Samaké lors du lancement de sa campagne

    Ladies and gentlemen of the diplomtic corps,

    Dear guests, leaders, and supports of the Party for Civic and Patriotic Action,

    Dear guests and friends of the political parties CODEM and RpDM,

    Before I speak to you, let me pay tribute to the very people who helped me arrive here today. My father, Seriba Samaké, who educated me, who gave me a sense of service to the community, who taught me integrity and respect. Thank you, father.

    I would also like to honor my mothers, Yiridio Konate and Fanta Bagayogo who are with us tonight. These women made many sacrifices so that I could eat and survive the challenges of hunger. Thank you mom.

    I was not the easiest child so I thank you Seriba, Ganta, and Yiridioo for all you have done for me. This is honor, and this is why it is essential that it all starts with the family.

    To this point ,my candidacy is dedicated to the Malian family, to every Malian family during the next five-year period that will put their trust in me as president. 

    Before beginning my speech, I take this time to say that every Malian family will know dignity, every Malian family will experience a good education, every Malian family will be healthy, every Malian family will be reassured that this great Mali which we all have high hopes, will never capsize.

    Dear guests, I thank God for allowing us to be here today together to turn the page on twenty years of bad leadership.

    However, I should like to ask that we observe a minute of silence for the Malian army and those that we have lost, that our parents may rest in peace.

    Thank you.

    With that said, Ben Sharif Diabate, Mr. Sidibe, Sibiri Mariko, and Mr. Fomba, will each take a turn talking about the specific values ​​that we follow including, a sense of service to serve one’s nation.

    Today I would like to acknowledge once again my dear wife Marissa Samake.

    Marissa is an Indian, as you may also call her a Hindu, who was born in the Arab country of Bahrain. I met her in the United States and she left her home, she left the United States of America, to accompany me to Mali. I entrust it to you that this is because she has adopted Mali as her country. She came to serve women in Mali, she came to serve the youth in Mali, she came to serve Mali.

    Ladies and gentlemen, today is history. We have the opportunity today to go through the front door of the history of our country.

    We will not miss this opportunity, we must seize this opportunity to help Mali shine and we must seize the opportunity to raise Mali from the ashes of tragedy, a human sociopolitical tragedy that we have known.

    Together,  we will will raise this great Mali that is going to review these 53 years and look into the eyes of other nations with confidence, as an equal, and not as a national less than others, as the pride of Mali is restored.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, with you, I am honored to carry the flag for the Party for Civic and Patriotic Action given to me for the election on July 28, 2013.

    Humbly, I agree to serve.

    I agree to accept this candidacy.

    I agree with your support, to bring a victory.

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    PACP is based on values.

    We are a young party founded on the fundamental principles of human dignity, we are committed.

    Ladies and gentlemen, to this end, we create a program, a vision, that will put money in the pockets of the poor, which will provide access to the best quality of education, which will provide each village with a classroom so that children no longer have to walk 3 km to go to school, a single development program, a development program that will ensure stability and prosperity of Mali for each Malian family.

    This vision is based primarily on the concrete.

    Unlike other parties, we believe in tangible projects.

    When we talk about education, when we say we are going to improve the quality of education in Mali, when others make merely promises;

    As the PACP, we have some projects and we take action, concrete actions in the direction of improving the quality of education and improving the access to educational infrastructure, including construction of classrooms and the gift of scholarships whose value is higher than Mali has ever given at 25 million CFA per year for nine people with three years of training.

    Nine (9) Malian children have benefited from our scholarships and still today, continue their studies in the United States.

    Some parents of these students are in the room with us, to show their gratitude and their honor in seeing their children study in the best atmosphere.

    With all of that said, with President Samaké in Koulouba (the Presidential palace), each region will have its own university, because we can no longer continue the “brain drain” to the capital.

    When a young man receives education beyond the high school level, he is regularly separated from his community and sent to Bamako where there is the only university in Mali.

    Each region needs its resources. Each region would be better if the intellectuals stayed behind as they would with the creation of universities in every region. Teachers will arrive in these regions.

    I tell you this because it is a part of the developmental program of PACP. We will also introduce technology in education.

    The management of our universities today lack credibility.

    We must ensure that grades are awarded on merit, by introducing an evaluation system that leaves no room for compromise.

    It will start from the first year that PACP is in power with President Yeah Samaké, speaking of the education program.

    At university level, education will be financed by the government.

    We will be looking to turn this page on July 28.

    We turn the page on management without results.

    We will require results whenever taxpayers’ money is invested.

    We will ask and will require results of our teachers.

    That education is accessible to our children. I, myself am a teacher by training.

    I’ll tell you about the PACP program, which also includes improving the quality of healthcare by requiring that hospital law is enforced, that Malians can received care in the ER. Doctors will now have the opportunity to serve in state hospitals rather than in clinics and they will be paid and results will be expected of physicians.

    Briefly, I will tell you that security is an important component in the development program of PACP. It is certain that development is not possible without security, we are at peace because of the presence of security. So, security is an important component of the PACP project. We will ensure that the Malian borders are more porous, engaging over 15,000 young men and women in the armed forces and defense division.

    The most important component is decentralization, where the PACP is strongly invested.

    To make it effect, the process of decentralization across the Malian territory is done by putting communities in charge of the management of their resources to avoid the expectation that the state distributes money to them.

    This will strengthen the capacity of municipal leaders so as to involve traditional leaders and religious leaders in the development process of the country. Each Malian has a duty to participate, serving Mali to become a strong nation.

    Ladies and gentlemen, briefly addressing some elements of the PACP, we will ensure that this new Mali will be served.

    Mali will also need a “Water” initiative to serve farmers.

    We need to create fertilizer factories that will not only create jobs, but also to lower the price of fertilizer so that we can put money in the pocket of the farmers.

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    It is a great pleasure for me to prepare you to take you to witness the fact that I am committed to serve the Mali and not serve me in Mali.

    With you, I pledge to turn the page on 20 years of bad leadership in Mali,

    To turn the page on 20 years of bad education,

    To turn the page on 20 years of social injustice,

    To turn the page on 20 years of irresponsibility.

    Thank you.

    Yeah released another campaign message on TV in Mali on ORTM. Although it is in Bambara and French, the sentiment can still be heard and seen. Malians are very receptive of his vision and support continues to grow rapidly in Mali!

    Présidentielle 2013:Message de campagne Yeah Samake candidat

    In Yeah’s words:

    “I pledge to serve Mali and not serve myself through Mali. With you, I pledge to turn the page on 20 years of mismanagement in Mali,

    Turn the page on 20 years of bad education,
    Turn the page on 20 years of social injustice,
    Turn the page on 20 years of irresponsibility.”

    Yeah’s Alma Mater, BYU, released this short video about Yeah. Thank you for your support! Yeah is definitely an example of BYU’s challenge to “Enter to Learn – Go Forth to Serve.”

    Yeah Samaké: BYU Alum Runs for President of Mali in West Africa

    Mali footage courtesy of The Good Line (thegoodline.com)
    Photography by Cole Nielsen, Colton Weston, Brian Wilcox
    Producer Julie Walker Editors Sarah Butler, Kirsten Merrill

     

    Listen to Mali’s rap sensation Mylmo latest song for Yeah Samake. He talks directly to his supporters about the failed political system and about the leaders that have done nothing for the country. Then he calls on them to change their choices for a young candidate. He mentions that Yeah Samake has built schools and brought doctors and is a doer. So Malians should vote for a candidate who cares for his people. Take a listen:

    Mille vérité de Mylmo

    Kirk Jowers and Ellesse Balli wrote this article about Yeah Samaké in celebration of Utah’s Pioneer Day. Thank you Kirk and Ellesse for your support!

    “Ultimately, if Samake attains the presidency, the challenges will be immense, but there may be no one better prepared to shoulder them.”

    Mormon Malian presidential candidate becomes modern pioneer

    SALT LAKE CITY — As we approach the 24th of July and reflect on the intrepidity of our ancestors, it is worth considering the bold journey of a modern pioneer — Malian presidential candidate Niankoro Yeah Samake.

    Not only is Samake Mali’s first LDS presidential candidate, he is Mali’s only LDS member (aside from his wife and two children). The starkness of this singularity cannot be overstated. In a nation where an estimated 95 percent of the population is Muslim, Christians in general raise eyebrows.

    More remarkably still, Samake has a fighting chance in this Sunday’s election. A recent informal poll conducted by Jeune Afrique placed the 44-year-old candidate in third of 28 candidates with 17% of the vote. At a time when Mali has been ravaged by corruption, a coup and a territorial takeover by Islamist militants, Samake’s experience and vision offer a distinct opportunity for the nation’s recovery.

    Samake could not have emerged from more humble beginnings. He was born the eighth of 18 children in an impoverished village in one of the 10 poorest nations in the world. But his father determined that his children would escape the cycle of destitution. Accordingly, instead of being sent to work the fields along with 85 percent of his peers, Samake and each of his 17 brothers and sisters were sent to school. It was a costly sacrifice. His mother regularly tied her handkerchief around his distended belly in order to quiet his hunger pangs.
    Read more »

    Last week, Yeah Samaké visited the areas of Ouélessébougou, his hometown, and the community of Misséni. The events were incredibly successful with increased support from both communities.

    “Unlike some, Yeah not only makes a promise, but he keeps his promises. As evidence, apart from the government of Mali, to relieve the suffering of his people, he has built schools, improved health and water infrastructure.” – Abdoulaye Kone, PACP Deputy Campaign Manager 

    Read the translated version here:

    Election présidentielle de 2013 : Le maire de Misséni soutient Niankoro Yeah Samaké

    Led by the Deputy Campaign Manager, Abdoulaye Kone, a delegation of the Party for Civic and Patriotic Action (PACP), including Ninakoro Yeah Samaké, went to visit Misséni, located about 60 km from Kadiolo, on Friday, July 12. During this trip, the mayor of this town, Nampaga Coulibaly, formalized his support to the candidate of PACP, Yeah Samaké.

    After his inauguration on Wednesday, July 10 as the presidential candidate, Yeah Samaké took his campaign to the commune of Ouélessébougou where he is the mayor. He then rushed to Misséni with a large delegation led by Abdoulaye Koné, his Deputy Campaign Manager. In Ouélessébougou, previously a place visibly committed to the cause of Yeah Samaké, the Secretary General of the sub-section of PACP in Ouélessébougou, Moriba Samaké, reassured the candidate that he is supported by the whole community because not only is he a son of the villages and of Mali, but a young leader who has proven himself in Mali and elsewhere.

    Still in Ouélessébougou, as Campaign Manager, Aboubacar Sidiki Fomba, invited the population to vote for Yeah Samaké, not because of what he has done and will continue to do for his city, but because he wants to benefit the rest of the country in its development efforts. After greeting the people and thanking them for their support, Yeah Samaké urged the community to redouble their efforts while he is running his campaign. These words were echoed by Ben Cherif Diabate and artist Mylmo.

    In Misséni, Mayor Nampaga Coulibaly expressed his deep commitment to the development activities that have been undertaken by the PACP candidate. He was impressed by the humility, sense of patriotism, and solidarity of this “son of Ouélessébougou.” “When the delegation of mayors traveled to the U.S., facilitated by Yeah Samaké, we were able to share experiences of local development in America,” he added. For him, Yeah’s support of socioeconomic development in Mali is a reason to support his candidacy. He promised to PACP that he would mobilize the 45,000 citizens of the town to vote for the candidate now. The villagers expressed their concerns regarding the construction of the road Kadiolo-Misséni, higher education, and health infrastructure.

    Apparently satisfied by the words of Mayor Coulibaly, the PACP representative of the candidate, Abdoulaye Kone, praised him for his support before seeking for further contribution. “Unlike some, Yeah not only makes a promise, but he keeps his promises. As evidence, apart from the government of Mali, to relieve the suffering of his people, he has built schools, improved health and water infrastructure. Whether he is elected president or not, if he can be the first in your community, he promises to stretch the road of Kadiolo-Misséni up to the Ivorian border,” said Mr. Kone.

    This was a good opportunity for the delegation to present not only the vision of the candidate but also to share his message in a video about Yeah. This video shows the completion of 20 schools, including 3 in the area of Kadiolo. Offering more than 100 computers to the Ministry of Education. In addition, he has helped to grant 30 scholarships to disadvantaged students for 3 years at 25 million CFA per year. In the area of health, Yeah Samaké brought 150 skilled American doctors to provide free health care to Malians. After visiting the Malian refugee camps in Burkina Faso, he gave them food in 1800.

    Encapsulated in this presentation, the citizens of Misséni promised their support to Yeah Samaké.

    -Oumar Konate