Partial results from Monday’s first round presidential elections in Mali revealed that former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is in the lead and expected to win the high-stakes election.
Reports say tensions started to arise with latest announcements of results especially the closest rival who Finance Minister Soumalia Cisse is reported rejecting the results and underlined determination not to give up easily.
Cisse’s supporters are reportedly forming an alliance and sending the message that the battle is not over yet.
Ballot counting is underway as the international community earnestly waits for the final result of the elections.
US congratulates Mali for the peaceful elections
In her statement at Washington DC, US Department Spokesperson
Jen Psaki the United States congratulates the people of Mali for their enthusiastic participation in the first round of Presidential elections on July 28.
“We commend the interim government for holding transparent, inclusive elections.” – Ms. Psaki
She highlighted that amid the domestic and international observers witnessed minor technical difficulties, the voting took place peacefully throughout Mali with high voter turnout.
The US government encourages transparency and patience as votes are tallied and results announced and urge candidates to resolve any disputes through the appropriate legal mechanisms.
Ms. Psaki states that the crucial election represents an important step in Mali’s return to constitutional order and allows for progress toward national reconciliation.
And the United States will remain a committed partner as Mali takes further steps toward long-term peace, security, and development, she stressed.
US Responds to Evolving Crisis in Mali
US names the challenges Mali continues to face: al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) continued presence in northern Mali, the restoration of democracy, the need to begin negotiations with northern groups that renounce terrorism and recognize the unity of the Malian state, and a significant ongoing humanitarian crisis.
The evolving crisis in Mali is one of the most difficult, complex, and urgent problems West Africa has faced in decades.
US says Mali’s problems reflect the fragility of governance in the region, the lack of economic development especially in northern Mali where the absence of meaningful opportunities for people to engage with their governments, and the widespread desperation that exists in an unforgiving, arid region with chronic food insecurity.
Poor governance, weak democratic institutions, and a lack of development and economic opportunity create fertile ground for terrorism and instability.