Malians vote in presidential run-off

By Alpha Kamara

DAKAR, Senegal (AA) – Malians are voting to elect their next president in a run-off on Sunday.

The first round on July 29 failed to produce a winner as none of the 24 candidates was able to garner more than 50 percent of the vote.

Incumbent President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita who received 41 percent of the vote in the first round is facing opposition leader Soumaila Cisse who had 18 percent.

Keita has run on a message of continuity and development. Cisse has said Keita had failed to deliver on his key promise of ending the country’s ongoing conflict.

Earlier, 18 of the initial 24 candidates had called for the first round results to be nullified due to voting irregularities. But the constitutional court rebuffed their challenge.

Armed groups had also attacked several voting centers, roughed up election staff and confiscated election material in several areas in the troubled North.

Saturday night, the army announced on state TV it had foiled a plot aimed to attack the capital Bamako on election day. Troops are deployed all over the country.

No incident has been reported so far.