Al Jazeera

Keita wins Mali election after Cisse concedes

No official results have yet been released following Sunday’s runoff, however, reports had put former PM well ahead.

Former finance minister Soumaila Cisse, left, congratulated Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, right, via Twitter [AFP]
Mali’s presidential election has been won by Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after his rival conceded defeat in the second round runoff.

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Follow Al Jazeera’s coverage of the 2013 Mali election

Ex-Finance Minister Soumaila Cisse said he had congratulated his rival Keita on winning the vote and wished him good luck, the AFP reported on Monday.

Cisse’s concession, hours after he complained the election had been marred by fraud, will deepen optimism for Mali’s recovery.

Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris, reporting outside Keita’s headquarters in Bamako, said the news of his win was just filtering in and there seem to be celebrations already taking place as some international observers were seen congratulating Keita.

“The general feeling here is that people are actually happy that this has come to a peaceful end, and that Mali finally has a president,” he said.

Keita, a former prime minister, inherits a broken nation and must still negotiate peace with northern rebels.

No official results have yet been released following Sunday’s runoff, however, reports had put Keita well ahead.
Keita had been widely expected to win Sunday’s vote, having swept the July 28 first round with nearly 40 percent of votes on a ticket to restore order after a March 2012 military coup allowed separatist rebels to seize control of the northern two-thirds of Mali.

Cisse said earlier on Monday that the vote had been tainted by intimidation. However, international and local observers said that, despite small irregularities, the process had been credible.

‘Important stage’

“This election, from a democratic standards point of view, is a success,” said the head of a EU observer mission, Louis Michel.

Infographic: Mali Election 2013

“It is an election that allows Mali now to start finishing the process that it has begun: the return to a normal democracy,” he added.

France sent thousands of troops in January to break the al-Qaeda-linked rebels’ grip on northern Mali.

Paris now aims to pull out its contingent to a rapid response team of 1,000 troops to face the scattered threat, while handing broader security duties to a 12,600-strong UN peacekeeping mission being deployed.

Keita received the backing of 22 of the 25 losing first round candidates.

Diplomats now hope a clean election will give him a strong mandate to negotiate a lasting peace with northern Tuareg separatists, reform the army and tackle deep-rooted corruption.

“This was an important stage in the transition in Mali towards peace and reconciliation,” UN Special Representative for Mali Bert Koenders said.

“There were small imperfections … but the lack of violence was impressive in a country which has just emerged from conflict.”

 

                    Source:
                                        Al Jazeera and agencies

BBC

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita wins Mali presidential election

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (file image) Ibrahim Boubacar Keita heads the Rally for Mali (RPM) party

Mali’s presidential election has been won by Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after his rival admitted defeat in the second round.

Ex-Finance Minister Soumaila Cisse said he had congratulated Mr Keita and wished him good luck, AFP reported.

Mr Keita, 68, served as prime minister from 1994 to 2000.

Mali has suffered a year of unrest including a military coup and a French-led military intervention to oust Islamist rebels from the north.

No official results have yet been released following Sunday’s runoff, however, reports had put Mr Keita well ahead.

In the first round Mr Cisse polled just 19% against Mr Keita’s 40% and most of the other candidates then gave Mr Keita their endorsements.

Mr Keita – known as IBK – will now oversee more than $4bn (£2.6bn) in foreign aid promised to rebuild the West African state.

A 12,600-strong United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Mali (Minusma) is currently deploying, as France begins to withdraw its 3,000 troops.

After the first round Mr Cisse had complained of widespread fraud, with more than 400,000 ballots declared spoiled.

However, Mali’s Constitutional Court rejected the allegations and the head of the EU election observer mission, Louis Michel, praised the electoral process for its transparency.

On Monday, observers from the EU and the African Union again praised the way the second round was carried out.

“Malians should be congratulated because it seems to me they are regaining control of their democratic destiny, which is in fact nevertheless a tradition that exists in Mali,” said Mr Michel.  bbc