World News

Mali Holds Presidential Election

Voters in Mali cast ballots Sunday for a new president for the first time after a chaotic 18 months that saw a military coup, an Islamist takeover of the north, and French-led military intervention.

Security was tight and the voting was free of violence, despite threats by Tuareg separatists.

VOA correspondent Anne Look says election officials are reporting a record-high voter turnout and describes the mood in the country as happy.

Candidates for the new president include two former prime ministers -- Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Modibo Sidibe. The two other top candidates are Somalia Cisse, who ran the West African Monetary Union, and a relative unknown, Dramane Dembele, who is backed by Mali's largest political party, ADEMA.



They are seeking to replace interim President Dioncounda Traore, who was appointed last year. If no candidate wins a majority, the two top-scoring challengers will head to a runoff on August 11.

OPTIONAL SOUNDBITE

VOTER

"It's giving me a great pleasure, it's a great pleasure, I want a good president for my country. The time has come for a change in Mali. We are in a hurry for that, I'm even in a hurry to get into the bureau to vote."

Feature Story

FILE - In this June 20, 2014 file photo, immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally stand in line for tickets at the bus station after they were released from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in McAllen, Texas.

Mixed Signals on Second Migrant Wave at US Border

The number of Central Americans apprehended at the border peaked in June, but reports from migrants indicate more might be on the way More