Opposition candidate Soumaila Cisse is mounting a legal challenge in Mali’s constitutional court alleging “ballot box-stuffing” after he came in a distant second to incumbent President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in the first round of the country’s presidential election. Keita won 41.42 percent of votes in the July 29 presidential poll, easily ahead of Cisse with 17.8 percent. They will face off in a second-round runoff on Sunday, August 12. “Soumaila Cisse filed last night (Saturday) around 20 submissions to the constitutional court for ballot box-stuffing, violations of the electoral law and other irregularities,” a spokesman for the candidate told the AFP news agency on Sunday.
“The ballot box-stuffing explains IBK’s tallies in the north and centre” of the country, the spokesman added, using Keita’s initials.
He said a motion had also been filed seeking the “recusal of six of the court’s judges on suspicion of bias, including its president”, Manassa Danioko.
After the vote, Cisse – a former finance minister – has called for a “broad democratic front” against Keita, and his party said the new “collective” challenge was backed by 17 of the 22 eliminated first-round candidates.