Mali’s main opposition candidate Soumaila Cisse on Friday urged voters to vote for change to enable him to bring change to a country mired in violence and inter-communal strife.
Cisse made the call to his supporters at his party headquarters in Bamako after returning from country-wide campaigning, two days before the presidential election in this West African nation.
“Everywhere only one word and one hope: Change. Malian men and women want nothing more to do with this regime. These five years were an accident, an accident we want to forget. Malians want to forget it, I assure you,” Cisse said.
Everywhere only one word and one hope: Change. Malian men and women want nothing more to do with this regime. These five years were an accident, an accident we want to forget. Malians want to forget it, I assure you.
Earlier in the day, opposition supporters held streets rallies in the country’s capital.
“Here in Mali, there is a water problem. Here in Mali, there is an electricity problem. Here in Mali, we have a security problem. Here in Mali, people are facing unemployment. I read Soumaila Cisse’s programme, and for me he is the only credible candidate who has been able to provide a programme that is complete, for Mali, and this is why I support his party and this why I vote for Soumaila Cisse”, said Sidiki Maiga an unemployed Cisse supporter.
Cisse’s address coincided with the incumbent President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta’s rally in Bamako. Keïta concurred he may not have achieved everything he set out to do when he was voted in five years ago.
Since then, Malians have suffered violence from Islamist militants, Tuareg separatists, drug traffickers, ethnic vigilantes and the country’s security forces.
All candidates have promised to reverse Mali’s decline and help end pervasive poverty. Mali is 14th from the bottom on the U.N. Human Development Index, despite being Africa’s third biggest gold exporter and a major cotton grower.