The Malian government announced on Wednesday, August 28, that the first round of legislative elections will be held on October 18 and the second round on November 18. The election campaign will start on October 6 and end on October 26. An increase in demonstrations and political rallies is anticipated in the weeks leading up to the vote, particularly during the election campaign. An increased security presence is likely at any large event and clashes between protesters and security personnel are possible.
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 (and presidential candidate) Soumaïla Cissé's allegations of election fraud. Cissé has stated that he does not recognize Keïta's electoral victory. Election observers have judged the election to have been fair overall, despite some irregularities and low voter turnout (34.4 percent). Keïta will officially begin his second five-year term on September 4.
The first round of voting was held amid tight security 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. President Keïta officially won with 67.16 percent of votes in the August 12 runoff versus 32.84 percent for Cissé.
All those present in Mali are advised to keep abreast of the situation and the sociopolitical climate and avoid all public gatherings due to the risk of violence.
On a more general note, due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevalent in the country, all those present in Mali are advised to remain discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, now used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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