PoliticsElectionsMali: Peaceful election, troublesome result


Posted on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 11:44

Mali: Peaceful election, troublesome result

By Konye Obaji Ori

A boy sits in front of an electoral campaign poster for Malian presidential candidate Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in Timbuktu, July 25, 2013/Photo©REUTERSMali's presidential elections are threatening to further destabilise the volatile country as losing political parties are already rejecting the preliminary results of the polls.


Former Malian Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has been tipped to win the polls in the unofficial results.

Keita is reportedly enjoying a healthy lead against rivals that include Modibo Sidibe, a former prime minister, ex-Finance Minister Soumaila Cisse, and Dramane Dembele, the candidate of Mali's biggest party.

The early results, which represent a third of ballots cast from constituencies across the country show Keita in the lead.

We quite simply reject these trends that were announced by the minister

"There is one candidate, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who has a wide margin compared with the other candidates.

"If maintained, there will not be a need for a second round," Colonel Moussa Sinko Coulibaly, the minister of territorial administration, told journalists in the capital, Bamako.

Coulibaly's revelations have angered Keita's rivals who have demanded his resignation as he is also in charge of the elections.

The minister said the results had been certified by the elections commission, but opponents want an international commission to tally the votes.

They are also demanding that the elections must go to a second round.

By Tuesday, a 53.3 percent turnout had been recorded, surpassing a Mali record high of 40 percent.

But Cisse called the early results "scandalous" saying he would challenge them if Keita was announced winner in the first round.

"We quite simply reject these trends that were announced by the minister.

"We call on the minister to resign and an international commission ... to be set up to count the vote," Amadou Koita, spokesman for Cisse told reporters.

If Keita emerges victorious he will have a tough task reconciling a divided country.

He will be immediately confronted with forthcoming peace talks with Tuareg separatist rebels who are still armed in remote corners of Mali's desert north.

Celebrations have already started in Bamako with Keita's supporters, even though only a third of the results have come out.

Some Malians believe Keita has won the election, and will become the next president.

The United Nations has called this election "successful and legitimate" and has urged all sides to respect the final result.


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