Mali presidential election results postponed to Thursday

Provisional results for the runoff vote in Mali's presidential elections have been postponed from Wednesday to Thursday for logistical reasons, a senior official said.

The results were expected to be given on Wednesday at 1730 GMT.

But an aide to the minister for territorial administration Mohamed Ag Erlaf, said the results "will be announced on Thursday" on national television, probably at 0930 GMT.

The delay, he said, will give time for the paper certification of election results to arrive from Tessalit and Menaka in remote northern Mali and from Nampala in the centre.

A member of a commission that pools results nationwide said that these three localities were the last to send their documents.

Sunday's second round of voting saw President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 73, face off against former finance minister Soumaila Cisse, 68, in a reprise of the elections in 2013 that saw Keita win by a landslide.

Keita is also the favourite in this year's polls, despite widespread criticism of his handling of a wave of jihadist and ethnic violence.

Violence, low turnout and accusations of fraud marred the vote, and Cisse on Monday said he would reject the results.

The EU, whose observation mission will remain on the ground until results are announced, repeated its call for calm during the electoral process.

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