BAMAKO – Mali wrapped up on Saturday the electoral campaign for the presidential runoff between the incumbent president and the opposition leader.
In the first round held on July 29, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita obtained 41.7 percent of the votes, while Soumaila Cisse got 17.7 percent. A runoff is mandated because no candidate obtained more than 50 percent of the vote.
During his final rally before Sunday’s election, Keita called on his supporters to cast their ballots, vowing to guarantee security should he win.
Keita, known popularly as IBK, is the favorite to win the election at the expense of a more divided opposition.
Many of the 22 candidates who ran the first round announced they would support IBK, while others opted not to back either candidate in the runoff.
Candidates such as Housseini Amion Guindo and Modibo Kone, who came fifth and seventh respectively in the first round, urged their supporters to vote for IBK, who seeks a second five-year tenure.
However, businessman Aliou Diallo and former prime minister Cheick Modibo Diarra, who came third and fourth in the first round, decided to be neutral.
During his final rally, Cisse, once again, denounced alleged irregularities in the first round, stressing the severe ethnic and terrorist threats his country faces.