Presidential election in Mali: eight million voters called to the polls

Mali goes back to the polls for the second round of the presidential election with outgoing head of state, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, in a strong position in front of opposition candidate Soumaïla Cissé, who did not know to unify the camp of alternation.

More than eight million voters are called to the polls, Sunday, August 12, to elect the President of Mali in a second round placed under high security, but that does not trigger the passions; the victory being for many already promised to the outgoing head of state, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK), who obtained more than 41% of the votes in the first round. His opponent Soumaïla Cissé won 17.8%.

The tension rose however Saturday night. A few hours before the opening of polling stations, the camp Soumaïla Cissé said that a fraud was in preparation. "It has been three days since we learn that ballots are circulating in the country," Soumile Cisse campaign leader Tiébilé Dramé told AFP on the sidelines of a press conference held after midnight at the candidate's headquarters, in the presence of two observers from the European Union. "These bulletins should be under seal and open only in the presence of the assessors, delegates and agents of the candidates. If ballots circulate in Bamako before D-Day, there is reason to ask questions about the credibility of the vote, "he added.

The 23,000 polling stations are open from 8 am to 6 pm (local time) in this huge country in the Sahel, still facing the jihadist threat despite five years of international military intervention. The results are expected in four or five days.

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