The polls are closed and counting has begun in the presidential election in the West African state of Mali. Observers said they have had no reports of any major incidents in a ballot which is seen as crucial in uniting the country following a coup in March last year. Early reports indicate the turnout was high at the country’s 21,000 polling stations. Government official, Madame Coumare highlighted the importance of the ballot.
“It’s an improvement for Mali. We should have a democratic government and reliable organisations which is what some investors have said before. We can vote for such organisations through elections, and so we can work hard to obtain trust from others,” she said.
Former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is one of the the leading candidates. It’s believed he could win enough votes in the first round to be elected. Just under seven million are registered to vote out of a population of 15 million.