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Keita and Cissé to face off in second round of Mali vote

© Pierre René-Worms

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-08-04

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (pictured right) won the first round of Mali’s presidential election with 39.24% of the vote while Soumaila Cissé (left) earned 19.44%, the Interior Ministry said Friday. The victor will be decided in an August 11 run-off.

Former prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita came in first in Mali’s presidential election but he will face ex-finance minister Soumaila Cissé in a run-off after he failed to secure an outright majority, the government said on Friday.

Keita secured 39.24 percent of the vote in the July 28 poll, well ahead of Cissé with 19.44 percent, Moussa Sinko Coulibaly, Mali’s minister of territorial administration said. The run-off will be held on August 11.

Cissé is expected to form an alliance with two of the other principal candidates, Dramane Dembélé and Modibo Sidibé.

While Sunday’s voting was peaceful and has been praised by observer missions, the three men came together on Monday to complain about the process.

Cissé has called for the resignation of the minister of territorial administration, who announced Tuesday’s partial results, accusing him of preparing public opinion for an eventual illegitimate win by Keita.

“There was fraud,” he said, without offering specific cases. “The results that I have show that I will be going through to the second round.”

Cissé has said he will challenge the results if Keita is announced the winner in one round.

Mali’s presidential election, which saw an unprecedented 53 percent turnout, according to the authorities, is meant to draw a line under a tumultuous 18 months that saw soldiers topple the president before separatist- and al Qaeda-linked rebels seized and occupied the north of the country.

French forces led a United Nations-backed offensive launched in January that dispersed the Islamists.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-08-02

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