Mali’s presidential election will go to a run-off vote after President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita failed to get enough votes to win a second term in office outright, according to preliminary figures provided on Thursday by the government.
Keita won 41.4 percent of the vote in the mostly desert West African country, while rival Soumaila Cisse won 17.8 percent, the Ministry of Territorial Administration said.
The President of Mali is elected by absolute majority vote using the two-round system. A candidate needs to secure 50 percent-plus-one of the votes cast to secure an outright victory.
Short of that, a second round in this case has been declared between the top two candidates and is slated to be held on August 12.
Incumbent president Ibrahima Boubacar Keita, who took office in 2013, and opposition frontrunner Soumaila Cisse are expected to be the two main candidates in the July 29 polls.
Keita defeated Cisse in the 2013 polls with a landslide victory (77%) in the second round of the vote. The opposition bloc had alleged fraud on the part of government even though IBK’s spokesman had long projected that the vote will be decided through a run-off.