Loser in Mali presidential race vows to create opposition
VICTORY: Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has won Mali’s presidential election after rival Soumaila Cisse conceded defeat in a runoff vote. Observers declared the poll to be ‘credible and transparent’. BAMAKO — Mali’s Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has won the country’s presidential election after rival Soumaila Cisse conceded defeat in a runoff vote that Malians hope will bring stability and democracy to the troubled West African nation.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Cisse conceded defeat but sharply criticised the electoral process which he said excluded hundreds of thousands from casting ballots. "Due to numerous shortcomings, hundreds of thousands of Malians were unable to participate in choosing the next president," Mr Cisse said in the capital, Bamako.
Mr Cisse on Tuesday slammed the campaign of Mr Keita, accusing him of "running a campaign along the lines of ethnicity (and) region", while he himself promised to lead a "strong, credible and constructive opposition". A contested vote would have risked dashing the hopes of Malians and the African Union of bringing stability and democracy to the troubled West African state as it attempts to recover from a military coup last year and an Islamist insurgency that prompted France to send troops to its former colony.