Mali's constitutional court rejects opposition appeal

Cheick Modibo Diarra, the unsuccessful presidential candidate in Mali’s first round elections says he will not instruct his supporters on who to vote for in the presidential run off vote.

This second round will pit outgoing President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita against opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé.

“Replacing Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta with Soumaïla Cissé is not alternation, is not change. For us in any case it’s nothing more or less than a simple game of musical chairs. We say that each entity of our group keeps its autonomy and is thus free of his choice in this second round’‘, Diarra told a news conference in Bamako.

Check Modibo Diarra, who placed 4th in the first round of vote however called on his supporters to unite for Mali’s future. The run off vote will be held on August 12 between Soumaila Cissé and Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Keïta, who is running for a second term at 73, finished well ahead of the first round held on 29 July, with 41.70% of the votes, according to the final results proclaimed by Constitutional Court President Manassa Danioko, while provisional results announced last week gave him 41.42%.

His rival as in 2013, Soumaïla Cissé, 68, who has since claimed that these results were “neither sincere nor credible”, saw his score slightly revised down to 17.78%, against 17.8%.

Five years ago, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, known as “IBK”, won with more than 77% of the votes.

The results of the first round, which were requested by both the opposition and the international community, were finally published on Wednesday evening on the website of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, which stated that these figures had “no legal value”.