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: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid