Cisse vows to create opposition group
Defeated presidential candidate Soumaila Cisse speaks at a news conference in Bamako. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, an ex-prime minister with a reputation for firmness, won Mali's presidential election after Cisse conceded defeat. Bamako - The loser of Mali's presidential election vowed on Tuesday to build the war-torn West African country's first real opposition in years, as Malians applauded his admission of defeat that dispelled fears of fresh conflict.
He must reach a peace deal with northern Tuareg separatist rebels, overhaul the armed forces and tackle widespread corruption. On the streets of the riverside capital Bamako, residents heaped praise on Cisse's gesture, which avoided a potentially acrimonious battle in a nation weary of turmoil, and voiced hope for the future.
Malian television showed images of Cisse going with his wife and children to congratulate Keita and his family at their home. Despite alleging ballot stuffing and voter intimidation by security forces, Cisse said he would not present any complaints to the Constitution Court, handing Keita a stronger mandate to undertake reform.
We will promote democracy by opposition,” Cisse told a news conference. Political opponents being co-opted into government have long meant there has been little criticism of an ineffectual state, eroding faith in a political system which has failed to deliver returns for the poor majority of Mali's 16 million people.
A military coup in 2012, sparked by government passivity over a Tuareg revolt, led to such chaos that Islamist rebels were able to seize control of the northern two-thirds of Mali.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Daily News