After the first round of Mali’s presidential election was marred by violence and accusations of fraud, EU observers on Tuesday called for more transparency and access during Sunday’s run-off. It came as a thousand people gathered in the capital of Bamako to condemn alleged fraud in the July 29 poll. “With the second round approaching, it would be desirable for authorities to take all necessary measures to guarantee all voters can exercise their right to vote,” said Cecile Kyenge, who heads the EU observer mission in Mali. Kyenge welcomed the publication of a detailed list of 871 polling stations where voting could not be held in the first round, due to outbreaks of violence.
The incidents affected nearly a quarter of a million people, mostly in the Mopti and Segou regions in the centre and the northern Timbuktu region.
Keita won 41.42 percent of votes in the first stage of the poll in the sprawling west African nation, easily ahead of opposition leader Soumaila Cisse, in second place with 17.8 percent.
But mounting accusations of fraud and ballot box stuffing marred the days following the poll.