Opposition groups have called for a demonstration to take place in Bamako on Saturday, August 18, to protest the results of the August 12 runoff election. According to local sources, demonstrators are expected to gather at 08:00 (local time) at the Place de la Liberté, Monument de l'Indépendence, and Bourse du Travail. A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are anticipated in the vicinity of any gatherings. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out.
On August 13, opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé alleged that the runoff should be invalidated due to widespread fraud. Cissé also called on his supporters to "rise up" and reject a Keïta win. After a provisional vote tally was announced on August 16, the opposition announced that it will file an appeal with the Constitutional Court challenging the results; the Constitutional Court has until August 22 to validate the results. Election observers have judged the election to have been fair overall, despite some irregularities and low voter turnout (34.4 percent).
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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