Mali constitutional court declares incumbent winner of presidential election News
By USAID in Africa (Mali Election 2013) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Mali constitutional court declares incumbent winner of presidential election

Mali’s Constitutional Court [official website, in French] on Monday declared [official results, PDF, in French] sitting President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita [Al Jazeera profile] the winner of the country’s August 12 presidential runoff election.

According to electoral officials, Keita garnered 67.2 percent of the vote, easily besting Soumaila Cisse, who received 32.8 percent. The court listed the official vote count at 2,753,698 or 34.42 percent of the country’s 8 million registered voters. More than 85,000 votes were nullified during the counting process. The runoff vote was set after a first round of voting on July 29, which featured 24 candidates.

The EU Election Observation Mission [official website] report [text, in French] highlighted “the partiality of state-owned audiovisual media and limitations on freedom of expression” leading up to the election but found that “the voting procedures were correctly applied in almost all the polling stations visited by the Mission.” The group summarized that “in all [polling places] observed, openness was transparent and the conduct of procedures was assessed as positive in 95% of them.”

However, the election was partially marred by threats [Al Jazeera report] from armed fighters that forced nearly 500 polling stations—about 2 percent of the total—to stay closed during Sunday’s runoff. Cisse claimed in defeat [Reuters report] that he would have won 51 percent of the vote but for ballot box stuffing and other cheating by Keita’s camp.