Mali’s presidential election will go to a second round on August 11, the government said Friday, after no candidate secured a majority in the crunch poll which the runner up said was tainted by electoral fraud. Figures for Sunday’s ballot announced on live television showed former prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in the lead with 39.2 percent of the vote, ahead of main rival Soumaila Cisse with 19.4 percent. But Cisse accused the government of allowing widespread fraud to tarnish the vote after the interior ministry said more than 400,000 ballot papers had been spoiled out of some 3.5 million votes cast.
“The high turnout on July 28 should not distract from the unpreparedness, poor organisation and fraud that have characterised the first round of the presidential election,” Cisse told a media conference in Bamako.
The 63-year-old said he was “astonished” by the high number of spoiled ballots and would be asking Mali’s constitutional court to investigate.
“In preparation for the second round, I urge the government of Mali and its partners to take strict measures to ensure a clean and clear expression of the will of the people,” he added.