Malians began voting on Sunday in a run-off election in which President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is expected to beat Soumaila Cisse even though ethnic and militant violence has surged during his tenure.
Polls opened in Bamako at 0800 local time (0800 GMT) under the rain, adding to concerns that turnout could be low after the candidates who came third and fourth declined to support either presidential candidate.
“What the new president must do is stabilise and speed up our development, so that we can forget our crisis for ever, ensure that the development of the whole republic is guaranteed, ensure that every Malian feels safe at home and abroad. I think that is the major challenge facing our future president of the republic. And we think that that president will do the job,” said Voter, Aboubacar Bogodogo.
What the new president must do is stabilise and speed up our development, so that we can forget our crisis for ever.
Keita took 41 percent of the vote in last month’s first round against nearly 18 percent for Cisse, a former finance minister and the main opposition leader.
The poll was marred by armed attacks and other security incidents that disrupted about a fifth of polling places and the threat of violence could again dampen turnout on Sunday.
On Saturday hundreds of demonstrators protested against electoral fraud in Bamako after Cisse claimed there had been ballot stuffing, parallel voting lists as well as hundreds of voters who were unable to vote due to security issues in the first round.