Mali’s president wins second term in country plagued by violence


Mali’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, has won a second term after taking 67% of the vote in a runoff election. Opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé received more than 32% of the vote in Sunday’s poll.

The estimated turnout was 34%. Voters were put off by threats of violence from extremist groups, and there was widespread disillusion with veteran politicians, whose campaign promises failed to offer convincing solutions to the impoverished and violent west African country’s many problems. The election looks unlikely to bring stability, which is key in the battle against Islamist extremism in the Sahel region and in efforts to curb illegal migration to Europe. Cissé, 68, has said he will reject the results of the runoff, which was marred by allegations of ballot-box stuffing and other irregularities, calling on the population “to rise up”. Extra security forces were deployed after about 250,000 people, 3% of the electorate, were unable to vote in the first round because of insecurity.(theguardian)…[+]