Mali president Keita wins landslide election

Published: August 17, 2018 13:52:15 | Updated: August 19, 2018 14:16:55

Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has been re-elected as president after beating opposition candidate, Soumaila Cisse, in a runoff vote, the government said on Thursday.

Keita won 67 per cent of the vote in an election marred by militant attacks and claims of fraud by the opposition.

Keita, known as IBK, now faces the giant task of lifting Mali out of a spiral of Islamist and ethnic bloodshed in the centre and north of the country.

The security situation and the militants’ ability to spread their influence to other West African countries is a concern to Western powers.

Mali is also a main transit point for migrants trying to reach Europe via North Africa’s shores, a priority issue in EU capitals.

Threats by jihadists forced nearly 500 polling stations - about two per cent of the total - to stay closed during Sunday’s run-off, the Ministry for Territorial Administration said.

One election official was killed in northern Niafunke, in Timbuktu region, reports Reuters.

Voter turnout of more than 2.7 million people was a muted 34 per cent of the electorate.

The European Union observer mission and other local and international monitors have said that although there were irregularities and disruptions, they saw no evidence of fraud.

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