Mali opposition loses election challenge at top court
Mali's Constitutional Court on Wednesday rejected a legal challenge to the first round of voting in presidential elections, confirming August 12 as the date for the runoff between President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and opposition leader Soumaila Cisse.
The president of the court, Manassa Danioko, also delivered the definitive results of the July 29 first round.
Keita, 73, was credited with 41.7% of the vote, a small increase compared with 41.42% in the provisional results announced on August 2. Cisse picked up 17.78%, very slightly down compared to the 17.8% in the initial tally.
The three main opposition candidates on Sunday had announced they would petition the nine-member court over alleged ballot-box stuffing and other grievances.
The second round will see a rerun of the 2013 elections, which Keita won with more than 77% of the vote.
Mali is a linchpin state in the Sahel, a sprawling, poor region that has been wracked by jihadism, ethnic attacks and crime. The international community is hoping the outcome of the poll will strengthen a 2015 peace accord.
The government on Monday published a list of 871 polling stations which were unable to operate during the first round due to outbreaks of violence.
Almost a quarter of a million people - mainly in northern Timbuktu region, central Mopti and Segou in the south - "were unable to vote for various reasons," it said.
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