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Mali's Keita urges national unity as poll heads for run-off

Mali's Keita urges national unity as poll heads for run-off

Mali

Mali’s incumbent president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita called for nation-wide unity during an address to his supporters at his campaign’s headquarters on Friday, as presidential elections in the West African country are set for a run-off poll later this month.

In his first public speech since the results were announced on Thursday, August 2, Keita said he was proud of the “democratic maturity” of the Malian people and asked them to continue on the path he had already started.

“I call on every Malian, men and women, to unite. This unity is possible, with our rich diversity, pride of our plurality and faith to the values which unite us. And we call for the real Malian patriots to join us. This unity must enable us to continue on the path that we have started, I ask you to come with me”, Keita said.

This unity is possible, with our rich diversity, pride of our plurality and faith to the values which unite us. And we call for the real Malian patriots to join us.

Some of his supporters claim accusations by the opposition of electoral fraud are unfounded.

“All these allegations prove all but one thing, that they (the opposition) are panicking. Everything that is coming from them, these ungrounded accusations, these are assurances they are giving us, the assurances that they are panicking because they see defeat is coming. This can only comfort us, and what the President has proven tonight is that this victory is Mali’s victory”, Keita supporter Abdul Salam Togola said.

According to preliminary figures provided by the government, Mali’s presidential election will go to a run-off poll after Keita failed to get enough votes to win a second term in office outright.

Mali’s Ministry of Territorial Administration said on Thursday that Keita won 41.4 percent of the vote, while rival Soumaila Cisse won 17.8 percent.

Reuters

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