A run-off vote has been set for August 12 in Mali after neither incumbent Ibrahim Keita nor his arch-rival Soumaila Cisse managed to muster a majority in the first round of a tense but peaceful presidential poll.
Mr Keita took 41.4 per cent of the vote in the first round against 17.8 per cent, for Mr Cisse, the minister for territorial administration, Mohamed Erlaf, announced in the capital Bamako late Thursday.
Many of the eight million eligible voters cast their ballots on July 29 in spite of a volatile security situation in the country’s north and centre, where various Islamist and separatist groups regularly stage attacks.
Isolated security incidents, however, prevented voting in 105 of the West African nation’s 23,000 polling stations, the ministry of territorial administration said.
Mr Keita’s popularity has plummeted since his election in 2013, but the 73-year-old has a good chance of winning a second five-year term in the run-off: No sitting president has ever lost an election in the former French colony.