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Mali presidential election goes to second round

From RFI
Soumala Ciss (L) will face Ibrahim Boubacar Keta (R) in the second round
Pix By: (AFP)
Soumala Ciss (L) will face Ibrahim Boubacar Keta (R) in the second round Pix By: (AFP)

Mali's presidential election goes to a second round on 11 August 20131 the government said Friday.

Former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was in the lead with 39.2 per cent of the vote in Sunday's first round, according to figures announced on live television.

Keita's main rival, Soumaïla Cissé, won 19.4 per cent, the figures showed, while Dramane Dembélé, the candidate of the country's largest party, Adéma, came third with 9.6 per cent.

Keita, commonly known as "IBK", was tipped to win and there was speculation during the week that he might have won over 50 per cent, making a second round unnecessary.

Several other candidates, including Cissé, were alarmed at that prospect and insisted that a run-off was essential for the country's future.

Sunday's first round has been generally hailed as well run and turnout was the highest in Mali's history.

But Cissé's party said Wednesday that it had been marred by "ballot stuffing", in which voters illegally vote several times.

Acting President Dioncounda Traoré and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have acknowledged that the vote may have been "imperfect" in a country with 500,000 citizens displaced by conflict but have urged Malians to respect the outcome.

France is anxious that it be judged legitimate, coming as it does after the French-led offensive against armed Islamists and separatist Tuaregs who had seized control of the north following a coup by junior officers last year.


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