Hundreds protest Mali election results marred by fraud claims

accreditation
Soumaila Cisse (File: AFP
Soumaila Cisse (File: AFP

More than a thousand supporters of Malian opposition leader Soumaila Cisse gathered in the capital Bamako on Saturday after he lost a presidential run-off to President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita amid accusations of fraud.

Keita was re-elected with 67.17% of Sunday's vote against 32.83% for challenger and former finance minister Cisse.

In Bamako, the protesters played vuvuzelas and displayed their candidate's campaign posters, watched by dozens of police officers in riot gear, AFP journalists witnessed.

Cisse, who said on Friday he had won the poll and dismissed the official results as "parody and lies", joined his supporters mid-morning.

"If you exclude the results coming from proven ballot-box stuffing in many polling stations as well as far-fetched results in many northern towns, I won the presidential election with 51.75 percent of the vote," he told reporters on Friday.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

His campaign team said some of the results clearly showed fraud had occurred - such as voters casting their ballots in just 40 seconds in some polling stations, while in others 100 percent of the votes were cast in favour of Keita, according to the team's calculations.

"The power in place is illegal. This time it is our turn, we have won, we will continue to march until the government resigns," said Fatoumata Konate, a member of the main opposition party.

Cisse, 68, said he had filed an appeal to the country's top court for some of the results to be cancelled.

Observer missions sent by the European Union and the African Union (AU), however, have said the election was not badly impaired.

The three main opposition candidates had mounted a last-ditch legal challenge to the first-round result, but their petition was rejected by the Constitutional Court.

Keita, 73, will take office on September 4, with hopes he can strengthen a 2015 peace accord between the government, government-allied groups and former Tuareg rebels.

Mali, a landlocked nation home to at least 20 ethnic groups where the majority of people live on less than $2 a day, has battled jihadist attacks and intercommunal violence for years.

Islamist attacks have spread from the north to the centre and south of the vast country and spilled into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger, often inflaming communal conflicts.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When and why would you have your or your partner's sperm count checked?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
That's an unnecessary procedure
17% - 869 votes
As soon as we decide to start a family
7% - 388 votes
Only if we're struggling to conceive
76% - 3988 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.08
+0.3%
Rand - Pound
19.55
+0.7%
Rand - Euro
16.77
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.61
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.1%
Gold
1,791.71
+1.0%
Silver
26.41
+1.9%
Palladium
2,581.55
+3.7%
Platinum
1,082.00
+1.8%
Brent Crude
73.08
-1.8%
Top 40
60,198
-0.3%
All Share
66,357
-0.3%
Resource 10
61,729
-0.4%
Industrial 25
88,881
-0.2%
Financial 15
13,185
-0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo