Mali rivals to face off in presidential vote

by ptinti

Al Jazeera

Former prime minister and former finance minister will go head-to-head in second round.

Bamako, Mali – Former prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita will face former finance minister Soumaila Cissé in an August 11 run-off after failing to win Mali’s presidential election in the first round.

The provisional results round off a week which saw Malians voting for their first president since a coup toppled the twice-elected government in March 2012. Despite lingering security concerns and complaints over a flawed voter registration process, government figures suggest a turnout of 51.54 percent, shattering Mali’s previous record high of 38 percent.

Keita, known locally by his initials, IBK, garnered 39.23 of the first round vote, falling short of the 50 percent needed to win outright. He was, however, well ahead of Cissé, who secured 19.44 percent, said Colonel Moussa Sinko Coulibaly, minister of territorial administration.

Friday’s results should help ease tensions after Coulibaly told reporters on Tuesday, before vote-counting had finished, that Keita may exceed the 50 percent threshold. In a chaotic press conference, the minister said that, with one-third of votes counted, Keita held a wide lead over the 27-candidate field.

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