Malians voted in a crucial election runoff on Sunday that has been marred by allegations of fraud and a tense security situation in the vast West African country.
It is holding a second election after the 24 candidates who competed for the top seat failed to get more than the required 50 percent of votes in the first round last month. The first round was marred by armed attacks and other security incidents at about a fifth of polling places, as well as opposition charges of fraud.
Seventy-three-year-old President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who won 41 percent of the vote in July’s poll, is favoured to beat sixty-eight-year old former finance minister, Soumaila Cisse, who garnered 18 percent, even though violence has surged during his tenure.
It is the first time in Mali’s history that an incumbent president has had to face a runoff. More than nine million people registered to take part in the election. As voting progressed throughout Sunday, however, no serious incidents had been reported.