News / Africa

Mali's Cisse Concedes Defeat in Presidential Runoff

Defeated presidential candidate Soumaila Cisse sings his political party's anthem during a news conference in Bamako, Mali, Aug. 13, 2013.
Defeated presidential candidate Soumaila Cisse sings his political party's anthem during a news conference in Bamako, Mali, Aug. 13, 2013.
Anne Look
Mali is still waiting on full provisional results from Sunday's run-off election, but that announcement has become a bit of afterthought now that one of the two candidates has formally conceded defeat.

Mali's presidential candidate Ibrahim Boubacar Keita speaks during an interview on Aug. 9, 2013.Mali's presidential candidate Ibrahim Boubacar Keita speaks during an interview on Aug. 9, 2013.
x
Mali's presidential candidate Ibrahim Boubacar Keita speaks during an interview on Aug. 9, 2013.
Mali's presidential candidate Ibrahim Boubacar Keita speaks during an interview on Aug. 9, 2013.
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita may have won Mali's presidential run-off, but it was his rival, Soumaila Cisse, who was the star in the capital, Bamako, on Tuesday.

Cisse had gone to Keita's house Monday night, 24 hours after polls closed, to concede defeat and wish him well. Unofficial results show Keita with a strong lead.

Cisse's move has gone over well with Malians.

Tears of relief

One man on the street said, "I was moved to tears when I heard of what Soumaila had done. He has freed this country from any problems."

Keita's supporters are yet to go cheering in the streets. The reaction in Bamako was more like a collective sigh of relief.

Cisse's supporters crammed into the press conference the candidate held Tuesday to make it official.

Cisse said he is doing this not because he believes this was a clean election, but because he loves his country. "I will do nothing and I will say nothing that could weaken my country or endanger national unity. It is with consideration to the fragile state of our country that my allies and I have decided to avoid opening a phase of contention and instability. I therefore solemnly declare that I accept the results that the government will proclaim."

Cisse said he will not contest the results, despite what he said were serious irregularities, including organizational problems and what he said were incidents of ballot stuffing.

Cisse, a former finance minister and chair of the West African Monetary Union, cracked jokes with journalists Tuesday and said he is not discouraged.

"Another five years is nothing in politics," he said.

New beginning

This election is meant to be a fresh start for Mali after a year and a half of unprecedented crisis. A Tuareg rebellion that began in January 2012 is still rumbling in the far north. A military coup in March 2012 threw the country into chaos. And the country is now host to a massive U.N. mission to stabilize the north after a nine-month occupation by armed Islamist groups.  

Mali had just a few short months to organize the election and there were problems with the voter list and voter cards. However, election observer missions have given both the first and second round votes positive marks.  

The first round saw a record turnout of 49 percent, while participation in Sunday's run-off appeared to be slightly lower.

Keita was the favorite heading into the run-off. He had won 39 percent of votes in the first round and was backed by almost all of the other 26 first-round candidates.

The Ministry of Territorial Administration has until Friday to announce full provisional results.

  • An election worker tallies votes after the close of polls in Mali's presidential runoff, Bamako, August 11, 2013.
  • Poll workers count ballots in Bamako, August 11, 2013.
  • A man walks out of a voting booth during the second round of presidential elections, Bamako, August 11, 2013.
  • A woman votes during the second round of presidential elections in Bamako, August 11, 2013.
  • People line up to vote during the second round of presidential elections, Bamako, August 11, 2013.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: emmanuel G. Wleh from: Monrovia, liberia
August 14, 2013 11:18 AM
I want to say a very big thanks to the Malian for being peaceful to elect their new leader. With the tallies report seeing,show that the was fair and also thanks to Honable Cisse who except the result before time. This is a very good example for many African Countries.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs