Three candidates in Mali’s presidential election claimed on Tuesday to have made it into a two-candidate run-off vote, adding to confusion over a poll beset by claims of irregularities and armed attacks that prevented thousands from voting. Candidates are forbidden by law to announce results before they are officially published and by 8 p.m. (2000 GMT) on Tuesday, there was no sign of the Ministry of Territorial Administration releasing any, which did little to calm tensions. Rival parties have given differing outlooks based on their own polling, raising the political heat in the mostly desert country, already under threat from ethnic and Islamist violence.
Mali has a history of peaceful elections in which disputes are resolved without mass protest or violence. But this election is closer and more contested than past polls, which raises the risk of trouble if candidates are unhappy with the outcome.
A spokesman for the Democratic Alliance for Peace said its candidate, gold magnate Aliou Diallo, had come second and won enough votes in Sunday’s election to force a two-candidate second round poll next month.
“Given the results we compiled, we are in the second round, we claim the second place,” Ibrahim Tiocary said.