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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid