More than a thousand supporters of Malian opposition leader Soumaila Cisse gathered in the capital Bamako on Saturday after he lost a presidential run-off to President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita amid accusations of fraud. Keita was re-elected with 67.17% of Sunday’s vote against 32.83% for challenger and former finance minister Cisse. In Bamako, the protesters played vuvuzelas and displayed their candidate’s campaign posters, watched by dozens of police officers in riot gear, AFP journalists witnessed. Cisse, who said on Friday he had won the poll and dismissed the official results as “parody and lies”, joined his supporters mid-morning.
“If you exclude the results coming from proven ballot-box stuffing in many polling stations as well as far-fetched results in many northern towns, I won the presidential election with 51.75 percent of the vote,” he told reporters on Friday.
His campaign team said some of the results clearly showed fraud had occurred – such as voters casting their ballots in just 40 seconds in some polling stations, while in others 100 percent of the votes were cast in favour of Keita, according to the team’s calculations.