Keita wins Mali presidential vote after rival admits defeat
SEPARATISTS’ FAVOURITE: A man sets up a stage for a rally next to a poster for Malian presidential candidate Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in Bamako, Mali on Friday. BAMAKO — Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, an ex-prime minister with a reputation for firmness, won Mali’s presidential election after his rival conceded defeat on Monday in a poll meant to draw a line under more than a year of turmoil. Keita, 68, universally known by his initials IBK, will now have access to $4bn in international development aid to rebuild the West African country after a French military intervention in January ended Islamist rebels’ occupation of the northern two-thirds of Mali.
May God bless Mali," Mr Cisse, a former finance minister, said on his official Twitter feed. A spokesman for Mr Cisse, who comes from northern Mali, said his candidate had admitted defeat after it became clear Mr Keita had won even in Gao, the largest town in the north.
Mr Keita, who earned his reputation for firmness by crushing student protests as prime minister in the 1990s, had been widely expected to clinch Sunday’s runoff. He swept a July 28 first round with nearly 40% of votes on a ticket to restore dignity and order to a nation once regarded as a model for democracy in a turbulent region.
France had pressed for the vote to go ahead quickly as it draws down its 3,000 remaining troops in Mali and hands over to a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission, despite fears a rushed process might undermine the legitimacy of a new president.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Business Day