On Monday, August 20, the Constitutional Court of Mali confirmed incumbent President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta as the winner of the August 12 presidential runoff election, rejecting opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé's allegation of election fraud due to lack of evidence. Keïta will officially begin his second five-year term on September 4. Protests by opposition groups are possible in the coming days; heightened security and localized traffic disruptions are expected near any demonstration site. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out.
On August 13, opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé alleged that the presidential election runoff should be invalidated due to widespread fraud. Cissé also called on his supporters to "rise up" and reject a Keïta win.
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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