Opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé has called on his supporters to stage a protest in Bamako on Saturday, September 1, to denounce the August 20 court decision upholding President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta's electoral victory, as well as the recent arrest of an opposition campaign manager. Participants are expected to gather at Place de la Liberté beginning at 08:00, before marching to the Monument de l'Indépendance, and concluding at the Bourse du Travail. Although the demonstration is likely to remain peaceful, a significant security presence is to be expected and clashes between protesters and police cannot be ruled out. Additional related protests are possible in the coming days and weeks.
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 allegation 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.
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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