Bamako: Former Malian Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubarca Keita has won the country’s presidential election, as his rival Soumaila Cisse on Monday conceded defeat and congratulated him on his victory.
Keita, widely known as IBK, met with Cisse, where he indicated that he was ready to assist Keita in his mission as the new president.
Meanwhile, national and international observers gave a positive evaluation in general, regardless of some minor technical faults.
The Pole of Civil Electoral Observation (POCE), formed by some 60 Malian associations, said that the votes were held in good conditions throughout the country.
It reported some irregularities such as the delay in launching of operations at certain stations and difficulties in identifying their stations for certain voters.
But the vote was held “in conformity with generally accepted international laws and regulations. The irregularities that have been noted do not harm its sincerity, transparency and credibility,” said the POCE in its statement.
The United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Mali also reported no major incidents, although heavy rains hampered the smooth conduct of voting operations in many parts of the country, said the UN at a daily news briefing.
The European Union (EU), which deployed over 100 observers to monitor the run-off, hailed Sunday’s second round as “a considerable democratic progress”, saying that there was generally “absolutely nothing to doubt or raise suspicion about”.
The African (AU) mission concluded that the second round vote was “in conformity with the norms of credibility and transparency” and hailed the civil behaviour of the Malian voters.
The only harsh evaluation came from the campaign team of Cisse, which alleged earlier on Monday that irregularities during the voting operations “seriously corrupted the credibility” of the results.
A statement signed by Gouagnon Coulibaly, the national coordinator of the campaign of Cisse, said that filled ballot boxes were found and during the vote, representatives, delegates and other electoral agents from the camp of Cisse were intimidated, questioned and even detained.
In reaction to allegations of fraud, Edem Kodjo, head of the AU observation mission in Mali and former prime minister of Togo, told Xinhua that the AU proposed to take the issue to the Constitutional Court, saying they have “found nothing” and “have no proof in hand.”
As no candidate secured a majority during the first round held on July 28, a run-off election was held on Sunday. The counting started immediately after the second round ended Sunday evening.
Mali’s Constitutional Court is set to announce the final results on Friday.
In the first round, 68-year-old Keita garnered 39.79 percent of votes, ahead of Cisse, former finance minister and Keita’s long-time rival who got 19.7 percent.
Keita and Cisse lost the 2002 presidential election to Amadou Toumani Toure, who was overthrown by a military coup in March 2012.