Presidential run-off takes place in MaliCurrent affairs
People in Mali are voting in a Presidential election run-off that follows a year of chaos that has seen a coup and a military intervention to remove Islamist rebels from the North.
The UN has stressed the significance of this election, believing it to be an important step towards restoring constitutional order and beginning a national dialogue to work towards reconciliation.
Many people are anticipating that former prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who won 40% of the vote during the first round, will defeat the ex-Finance Minister Soumaila Cisse. 49% of the 6.8 million voters registered cast a ballot on 28th July during the first round of the election.
The winner of the election will supervise $4bn (£2.6bn) in foreign aid, which will be given to help rebuild the West African State.
Mr Keita has strongly urged voters to help him achieve a “clear and clean” majority in the run-off. On Saturday he stated: “My first priority would be the reconciliation of the country. After the trauma that it has suffered, a new start is needed.” He added that he would be pursuing “a real peace… not a false one”.
Mr Cisse has pledged to create more jobs, reform the army and make improvements to the education system.
Speaking to AFP news agency on Saturday, he stated: “I am confident, because it is not about adding to the votes from the first round, there will be new votes, it is a new election… Everything restarts from zero.”
A great deal rests on the results of the election and 21,000 polling stations were opened across Mali for Sunday’s second round.