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Official results confirm Keita's landslide in Mali poll

AFP

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won a landslide victory in Mali's presidential election, offical results showed Thursday. The poll, seen as key to unlocking more than three billion euros in aid, is hoped to give a fresh start to the conflict-scarred nation.

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Mali announced Ibrahim Boubacar Keita as its new leader on Thursday when the government confirmed the ex-prime minister had won a landslide victory in a presidential poll intended to give a fresh start to the conflict-scarred nation.

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Figures for Sunday’s second-round ballot announced on live television by the interior ministry showed the former prime minister won an overwhelming 77.6 percent of the vote, with his rival Soumaila Cisse trailing on 22.4 percent.

Mali’s first election since 2007 was seen as crucial for unlocking more than $4 billion (three billion euros) pledged by international donors who halted aid after a separatist uprising led to a 2012 coup and an Islamist insurgency that plunged one of the region’s most stable democracies into turmoil.

Former finance minister Cisse had already conceded the second round run-off to Keita after it became apparent as early as Monday morning that victory was beyond his grasp.

Turnout was recorded at 45.8 percent, Interior Minister Moussa Sinko Coulibaly said, while just 93,000 ballots were spoiled, compared with 400,000 in the first round.
Keita has become known for his blunt speech, his refusal to compromise and his reputation for toughness.

But his regime begins already mired in controversy after it emerged on Wednesday that Captain Amadou Sanogo, who led a group of fellow mid-level officers to overthrow then-president Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22 last year, had been promoted.

(AFP)

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