Incumbent President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta has now officially been declared the winner of the August 12 presidential election runoff over opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé. According to results released on Thursday, August 16, President Keïta won 67 percent of the vote in an election marred by allegations of fraud and security concerns. The opposition has already announced it will appeal to the constitutional court to challenge the results. Protests or other political gatherings are possible in the coming hours or days. An increased security presence and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected near any demonstration site; associated violence cannot be ruled out.
On August 13, Cissé alleged that the runoff should be invalidated due to widespread fraud and announced that he would reject the official results. Cissé also called on his supporters to "rise up" and reject a Keïta win. However, observers have judged the election to have been fair overall, despite low voter turnout (34.4 percent, twice as low as the first round) due to serious security concerns and general voter apathy.
The first round of voting was held on July 29 among 24 candidates; as no candidate received the required 50 percent, a runoff was called between the two front-runners, President Keïta of the Rally for Mali party and Cissé of the Union for the Republic and Democracy party.
Individuals in Mali are advised to monitor the situation and avoid all political events and large public gatherings due to significant security concerns (e.g. unrest, risk of terrorist attack). The security environment in Mali remains complex, particularly in the north and central regions. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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