Mali – Presidential Run-Off Today After Courts Uphold First Round Results
Malians return to the ballot box today in a presidential run off that will see President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita go head-to-head with opposition leader Soumaila Cisse. It is the first time an incumbent president has been forced to contest a second round vote.
The vote is taking place in difficult conditions. According to the UN nearly 300 civilians have been killed this year as a result of inter-communal violence connected to local jihadi groups. In the first round security incidents resulted in the cancellation of voting in 3% of polling stations and disruption in a further 20%.
Cisse had lodged a complaint with the country’s constitutional court regarding allegations of fraud during the first round held on 29 July. However, the courts this week ruled to uphold the official results, which put him on 17.8% of the vote, less than half that of President Keita who took 41.4%.
The third and fourth placed candidates from the first round have declined to throw their support behind either candidate, instead advising their supporters to make their own decision.